Luka admits conditioning issue: ‘Got to do better’

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DALLAS — Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic acknowledged that his conditioning has “got to be better.”

Doncic’s weight and conditioning were a frequent subject on the TNT broadcast of the Mavs’ 102-99 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. Analyst Reggie Miller, a Hall of Fame shooting guard, criticized Doncic, saying he was “plodding up and down the court” and “has got to trim down.”

“People are going to talk about it, yes or no,” said Doncic, who had 28 points, six rebounds and nine assists in the loss. “I know I’ve got to do better.”

Sources told ESPN that Doncic reported to training camp weighing more than 260 pounds for the second consecutive year.

“I had a long summer,” said Doncic, who joined the Slovenian national team’s training camp days after Dallas was eliminated from the playoffs, leading the program to a fourth-place finish in its first Olympic bid. “I had the Olympics, took three weeks off, and I relaxed a little bit. Maybe too much. I’ve just got to get back on track.”

A two-time first-team All-NBA selection, Doncic, 22, is averaging 25.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists for the 11-12 Mavs. While those are impressive statistics, they are slightly down from his numbers from the previous two seasons, as is Doncic’s 44.4% shooting from the field.

Doncic’s efforts to improve his conditioning have recently been interrupted by a sprained left knee and ankle, injuries suffered simultaneously that caused him to miss three games at the beginning of the Mavs’ current 2-8 stretch. He sat out Saturday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies because of lingering soreness in his left ankle, and the Mavs also listed a sprained left thumb on Tuesday’s injury report.

The Mavs are 0-4 in games that Doncic has missed.

“It’s still painful, but I try to play and try to practice,” Doncic said of the ankle. “But it’s still painful.”

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