In a recent episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” former NBA champion and current analyst Kendrick Perkins criticized Luka Doncic for his lack of defense and leadership. Perkins believes that Doncic’s on-court demeanor and body language are contributing to the Dallas Mavericks’ recent struggles.
Why does Perkins think Luka Doncic needs to improve?
Perkins expressed his discontent with Doncic’s body language, particularly towards officiating and his teammates. Perkins said. “When I watch Luka, I get so disturbed by his body language, not only towards the officiating but towards his [Mavs] teammates. “Sooner or later it is you,” Perkins called for Doncic to take accountability for the team’s performance and step up his effort on defense. Perkins pointed out that while Doncic may not be the most athletic, he could still show more passion and commitment on the court.
"When I watch Luka [Doncic], I get so disturbed by his body language not only towards the officiating but towards his [Mavs] teammates. The pouting, the hanging of the head, going to the media… when are you gonna be accountable?"
🗣️ Kendrick Perkinspic.twitter.com/391T2WmtZ3
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) April 3, 2023
Perkins also emphasized the importance of addressing Doncic’s “bad habits,” such as poor leadership skills and lack of effort on defense. He believes that these factors, along with the team’s concerns about Doncic’s fitness, are holding the Mavericks back.
Despite Doncic’s solid individual performance, the Mavericks have been struggling. In a recent loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Doncic finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, but the team fell in overtime, 132-130. This marked Dallas’ third consecutive defeat.
The Mavericks’ recent poor form has put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. With a 37-42 record, they are currently the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference, one spot out of the play-in tournament. They are half a game above the No. 12 Utah Jazz and one game behind the No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder.
Head coach Jason Kidd acknowledged the team’s precarious position and the need to find ways to win games. The Mavericks will face the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs in their final regular-season matchups. It remains to be seen if Doncic and the team can turn their fortunes around and secure a spot in the play-in tournament.