Luka Doncic’s Three Point Troubles
Luka Doncic is known for successfully making some nearly impossible shots while making them look easy, however this season he’s had trouble with his three-point shooting. Doncic is a decent three-point shooter having a career three-point field goal percentage of 32.8%. However, this season Doncic has been on a three-point shooting slump, making 30.9% of his three-point shots and averaging 2.4 made for every 7.9 attempts. This season’s three-point percentage is his lowest in his career. Doncic’s three-point percentage his first three seasons in the league combined average out to 33.1%, when this season is factored in it lowers his career three-point shooting percentage by .30%.
Doncic struggled with his three-point shooting when he returned from an ankle injury and COVID health and safety protocol on January 2, 2022. In his first 11 games back, he shot 21.5% from beyond the arc, making 1.5 for every 7.2 attempted. This season as a whole Doncic has had trouble from the three-point line. In his recent four games he’s been making three’s more consistently, but when those games aren’t factored in, Doncic has shot 29.1% from beyond the arc since the beginning of the season. It hasn’t affected his overall game as he averaged 25.6 points per game during that time span, but his three-point troubles have become noticeable at the percentage and rate that he is shooting but not making.
As mentioned before, there has however been a change in Doncic’s three-point shooting in his last four games. In the Mavericks four games since January 25th, Doncic has shot 45.2% from three, while making 3.5 for every 7.8 shot. Those games helped to raise his three-point shooting percentage after the slump he was having since his return. No reports have come out about Doncic changing his shooting style and it looks fairly similar to how he has always shot, but it seems like he’s getting his shooting rhythm back.
Doncic has made many memorable three-point shots throughout his NBA career so far. In game 4 of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Doncic hit a step-back three over Reggie Jackson to win the game in overtime against the Los Angeles Clippers. In a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 14, 2021, the Mavericks were down by two-points with 1.8 seconds remaining in the game. Doncic hit a three-point floater to win the game for the Mavericks. Even this season he’s shown sparks of Luka Magic from beyond the arc. In a game on November 6, 2021 against the Boston Celtics with game tied and time running out in the fourth quarter, Doncic hit a step-back three-pointer over former Maverick Josh Richardson to end the game.
Even with his Luka Magic, Doncic does have to work on his consistency from beyond the three-point line. It has not become a liability due to how many points Doncic is able to score per game and how often his other shots go in, but it can hurt him in other ways. Bringing down the amount of three’s he takes while practicing during team practices could be the solution needed until he’s able to heat back up. It seems like Doncic has slowly been able to start hitting his shots again in his recent games played and it might’ve just been some rust from not playing for a while and having to get acclimated to doing it again. If Doncic is able to continue to consistently make shots like he’s been doing, along with having his Luka Magic moments, it will be impossible for defenders to guard him.