Summary: France - Netherlands 0:4 (Sport1)
Luka Doncic continues to put up numbers and do his job, but the Dallas Mavericks are sinking.
Tonight (between Friday and Saturday) the Slovenian contributed 34 points, took 10 rebounds and gave 8 assists in a game in which he returned to collaborate with Kyrie Irving who contributed 18 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, but the pair of stars surrendered 117:109 to Charlotte. The team lost tenth place in the West and is in danger of being relegated to stay out of the playoffs.
In a revealing interview after the game, the upset Doncic - who had previously been fined $35,000 following his response to the "worst judgment error in history" - admitted that it was no coincidence that Dallas had won only two of the last eight games: "It's very frustrating for me and I think you can to see it on the floor. I sometimes don't feel like it's me there, I'm just standing out there - you know what I mean?" Doncic wondered and continued, "I'm used to having fun and smiling on the floor, but it's a difficult time and there are a lot of reasons related to this, not just basketball. We need to play hard, show that we care and that starts with me. I need to lead this team."
"There are many related reasons, not just basketball" (Photo: Reuters)
The crowd in Dallas reacted with boos already in the first half, which ended with a 14-point deficit for the Mavericks, and coach Jason Kidd understood the crowd and admitted: "It was a terrible game by us, a crappy game. We talked before the game that we were playing for the playoffs, winning the championship, but We got 37 points in the first quarter and it seemed like we gave up, players didn't seem interested. It's disappointing."
The networks were quick to link Doncic's words to his shared month in the same team with Kyrie Irving, who after the game said about Dallas' situation: "Everything has a reason and something good will happen to me too. So what if the crowd booed, they only made it clear how they Feel. I was in New York and I know what it's like. We all want to play better, but if the fans want a change then please. Our focus should not be on the contempt from the fans, but on our ability and our need to be there for each other."