Observing Luka Doncic Against Barcelona in a Euroleague Basketball Game

January 6, 2018

By Alan Lu

I decided to watch Real Madrid’s 6-7 guard Luka Doncic play recently, as he and his team played against FC Barcelona in a Euroleague basketball game that was played on December 14th, with thanks to YouTube via Sergey Danilov.  Doncic really impressed with his shooting, scoring, and playmaking skills when he was on the floor, and he is a very smart, skilled player that can make many plays when he is on the floor.  Here is my write-up on his performance on this day, and how his game may translate to the NBA.

Luka Doncic possesses tremendous playmaking skills.  He is a smart, decisive player that possesses great court vision and ball handling ability, and he can get it to his teammates in a variety of ways to set up a wealth of scores for them.  He did a great job of finding the roll man on the move, and he also can hit cutters.  Plus, he can regularly get the ball to shooters, and he will push the ball up the floor off of defensive rebounds. In addition, he sees the floor really well, and he can throw a long outlet pass to set up a scoring chance for a teammate in transition, but he did commit one turnover, as he threw a bounce pass to a roll man in traffic, but there was miscommunication on the play, which led the ball to skipping out of bounds that time.

Doncic possesses a very good ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He can regularly draw fouls upon the opposition even when he draws in multiple defenders, and he shoots the ball well, as he can regularly knock down pull-up jumpers.  Plus, he showed a very good ability to knock down jumpers.  Doncic did a good job of knocking down pull-up threes, as he can dribble off screens, and he also can use a step back move to do so.  Also, he was able to basically make a full-court, three-point shot towards the end of the third quarter, as he made an amazing shot to beat the buzzer.  Also, he was able to make a quick long two-point shot after running quickly to the corner to get the ball, and Doncic moves very well off the ball, but Doncic can still be streaky with his shot sometimes, as he would miss outside shots after using step back moves, and sometimes he would attempt shots from way out.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Doncic ran the floor to score in transition, and he was able to evade a defender in mid-air to score in traffic.  Plus, he also ran the floor to score on a tip dunk off of an offensive rebound another time, as he was able to get an extra free throw on that play.  Also, Doncic rebounded the ball very well when he was on the floor.  Doncic hauled in numerous boards on both ends of the floor.  He was able to run down a ball to get an offensive board due to possessing a very good motor, and he would leap up to get defensive rebounds, as he would push the pace after getting them for his team.  In addition, he would box out his man, which would help him get more rebounds in this game.

He also played good defense in this game.  Doncic is a smart position defender that is active on this end of the floor, and he will tend to be in the right spots.  He was able to deflect a pass out of bounds, and he will also get back on defense to prevent opponents from getting easy scores in transition.  He also showed good strength when defending a taller player in the post to force his man to pass, and he will fight through screens defensively, but sometimes, Doncic can get beat on drives to the basket, which happened a few times after he would rotate to defend an opponent, which led his team to allow scores on drives to the hoop.

In general, Luka Doncic played very well, and he is having a terrific season this year for his team.  He is a tremendously skilled basketball player that possesses a terrific basketball IQ, and while he may not be an elite athlete, he seems to be a good athlete that can make all the necessary plays on the floor.  With his skill set, he is a strong contender to be the top pick for the 2018 NBA Draft, and he could definitely help an NBA team right away, as he possesses really good offensive skills and a great understanding of the game.

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