The Dallas Mavericks have been struggling badly this season. After coming close to upsetting the LA Clippers in the playoffs last season, Mavericks have seen a sharp fall in their fortunes. While young superstar Luka Doncic has had an individually good season, he hasn’t been able to lead them to wins.
Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has a solution for the Mavs. During a recent episode of NBA on TNT. He said, “(The Mavs) need somebody who is just as good as Luka but a little bit better like Bradley Beal or Russell Westbrook.”
He added they need someone with the ‘dog’ in them, who can get them 25-26 points a night alongside Luka. When Kenny Smith mentioned that Kristaps Porzingis is already supposed to play that role for the Mavs, Shaq just said that the big Latvian isn’t doing his job.
Is Shaq’s analysis of Luka Doncic and the Mavs correct?
What Shaq said about Porzingis is right. Since his return from injury, he has been disappointing and hasn’t stepped up as the co-star for Doncic. The young Slovenian is often overburdened because of Porzingis’ inability to deliver.
But are Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook really better than Doncic? Beal is a better scorer than Doncic, undoubtedly. He has proved that he can drop 30 points on any night and can score from anywhere. In fact, Beal recently broke a scoring streak by Michael Jordan, further proving his status as an elite scorer in the league.
However, when it comes to overall ability, Doncic is arguably better. He is one of the best playmakers in the league and can create shots for everyone, including himself. He can also score, although not as efficiently, but can still put up 25 points a night. Overall, Doncic has a higher impact on his team.
There are a lot of similarities between Doncic and Westbrook. The Wizards star’s recent shooting purple patches have increased his three-point percentage slightly higher than Doncic. But Westbrook’s selfish mentality and his triple-double chasing have often cost his team. 2/4 of the Wizards’ wins have come when he didn’t play.
It is silly to say that Westbrook is better than Doncic at this point, but Shaq’s analysis is not completely wrong. The Mavs do need a player who is hungry to get wins, a third star who can push them to an improved season. With just a month left for the trade deadline, it could be a busy month for them.
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