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2018 NBA Draft scouting report: Luka Dončić (Part 3)

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Let’s talk playmaking.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

In advance of the 2018 NBA Draft, Peachtree Hoops will be breaking down prospects, both from the college ranks and internationally, with an eye toward what the Atlanta Hawks will be evaluating in the coming days. More than 50 prospects will be profiled in this space and, in the end, the goal is to inform Hawks fans prior to June 21, when the Hawks are scheduled to make four selections with the first 34 picks.

For our final installment, we’ve broken down Luka Doncic’s game with a four-part deep dive. If you missed part one, catch up here and part two can be found here.

Part three is here, centering on his playmaking and more.


Let’s move on to Doncic’s playmaking and his ability to get others involved and make them better.

Doncic averaged over four assists a game in all competitions, and despite everything I’ve shown you here today with regards his offense Doncic is not a selfish player. Despite his abilities to score and his ‘superstar’ and ‘wonderkid’ reputation, Doncic is a very unselfish player who constantly looks for his teammates and constantly sets them up in positions to succeed.

We’ve seen Doncic score in pick-and-roll situations but showed aptitude and willingness to find his teammates in pick-and-roll scenarios.

On this possession, Doncic links up with Edy Tavares in the pick-and-roll, dropping the ball in space that Edy is able to reach with his ridiculous length and it leads to a basket:

On the wing, Doncic and Tavares execute a perfect pick-and-roll as Doncic feeds a nice overhead pass to the rolling Tavares for the assist:

In a pick-and-roll with Felipe Reyes, Doncic manages to squeeze the pass underneath and it finds Reyes, who does the rest:

Squeezing passes through narrow/tight angles is something Doncic is capable of doing, as you saw in that last clip and in this one too, as he threads a pass to Trey Thompkins for the assist:

Again with Reyes, Doncic somehow angles this pass inside and Reyes finishes with an equally impressive play:

Here, Doncic and Reyes hook up and Doncic waits for the perfect moment to drop the pass to the rolling Reyes for the assist:

Doncic possesses great vision, awareness, and basketball IQ and can spot opportunities all over the floor coming out of the pick-and-roll.

Coming out of this pick-and-roll with Tavares, Doncic spots the open Facundo Campazzo in the corner and finds him for the three-pointer:

Operating a pick-and-roll with Tavares, Doncic not only spots Jeffrey Taylor in the weakside corner but somehow finds him, and Taylor hits the three:

Here, Doncic initially tries to find Thompkins for a shot, nothing doing, gets the ball back, gets a screen from Tavares, sees the defense has shifted away from Thompkins and Doncic, and finds Thompkins again for three:

After a drive from Doncic fails to produce anything, he sets up again with Gustavo Ayon in the pick-and-roll before finding Anthony Randolph in the corner for three with an overhead pass:

In general, Doncic just shows awareness and sees passes/plays before he even gets the ball:

As the season went on, more and more teams identified that Doncic was the legitimate threat that was leading the hot-starting Real Madrid and that he could tear their team apart if allowed to do so. So, teams began to hedge and/or double off of pick-and-rolls and this put Doncic in precarious situations as to what to do with the ball. But more often than not, Doncic was not intimidated and still looked to make the right pass to his teammates out of the defensive pressure.

After getting a screen from Randolph, Doncic is shown an extra body as he drives toward the baseline, keeps his composure and finds the simple, right pass to Randolph for a three-pointer:

Same game — Doncic is shown an extra body off of the pick-and-roll and responds very well, making the right pass to Chasson Randle, who is unable to hit the three:

After Doncic is shown the pressure, he finds Ayon inside with a bullet pass, and Ayon tips it on to another teammate for the layup:

Same game, same pressure for Doncic to handle, but he manages to find Jonas Maciulis in the corner for a three-pointer:

Here, CSKA Moscow throw the extra body on Doncic but Doncic rifles a pass inside Tavares for the assist:

There were times, of course, where Doncic did get a bit flustered/overcome by the pressure:

(Panathinaikos really did come right out of the gates to make life very hard for Doncic, as you can see by the clock)

But nothing Doncic couldn’t adjust to:

But generally speaking, when this kind of pressure was thrown onto Doncic, he did very admirably to not only (again, generally speaking) keep a cool head but also make the correct pass/play out of that situation — you forget sometimes that Doncic was 18/19 when doing all of this...

We’ve looked at how Doncic scores on drives but, as you could imagine, opportunities open up when the defense has collapsed and Doncic shows no hesitation to find the open man.

On the drive, Doncic kicks the ball out to the weak-side corner for a three-pointer:

On a drive from the perimeter, Doncic collapses the defense and finds Thompkins near the rim for the assist:

Again on the drive, Doncic gets by the defense and loops a pass over for Tavares, who scores:

On this possession, Doncic drives to the rim, kicks the ball out behind the arc to a teammate for the three-point attempt which is missed:

I think you get the general idea when it comes to this part of Doncic’s facilitation...

Doncic also excels at creating in transition. We’ve seen how he likes to get the rebound and just go, and his teammates are also beneficiaries when he does this.

Off of the rebound off of a miss, Doncic is looking to get going, gets to mid-court and finds the streaking Taylor for the score:

Doncic’s head is constantly up in transition as he searches for the best option for his team to score:

After a miss is rebounded, Doncic is gotten the ball and he leads the defense with the direction of his head but knows the whole time where he’s leading the pass and he finds Fabien Causeur with the no-look pass for three:

Again off of a miss, Doncic is looking to push quickly and exploit the defense as it attempts to set up. Doncic drives, gets to the free throw line area and finds the open Randle for a three:

Doncic doesn’t always burst with a full head of steam in transition, again, always scanning, surveying the best possible option, his patience is rewarded as the opportunity for Campazzo opens and Doncic finds him for three:

The open court also gives Doncic the opportunity to show a bit of flair. It’s not something Doncic does often but he’s capable of the spectacular.

Here, in transition, Doncic whips out a showtime behind-the-back pass to Tavares for the basket:

Against Barcelona, Doncic produces a very fancy bounce-pass to the streaking Reyes who finishes the play:

Again, it doesn’t always go to plan and sometimes Doncic doesn’t get it right:

These aren’t hugely regular occurrences but worth noting nevertheless...

And like I said before, Doncic seems to much rather set up in transition than score himself.

Another area Doncic is capable of making plays from is the post.

We’ve seen how Doncic’s size can create some mismatches/unfavorable match-ups down-low, and some teams don’t want Doncic to have that advantage, so they’ll send another man to help. And when they do, Doncic can then shift the ball away to the open man...

In this case, it’s Jeffrey Taylor who’s open for three after the double is sent Doncic’s way:

Here, Doncic tries to break in transition but is cut off by the defense. Doncic has the offensive versatility to try something else and goes to his post game, backing down and drawing the defense before wrapping a beautiful pass to Gustavo Ayon for the finish:

On the left block, Doncic goes to work and surprises the defense by passing over the defense behind him to Tavares, who scores at the rim:

On the wing, Doncic draws the double and somehow threads a pass to the weak-side corner for a three-point attempt that is missed:

As an offensive package, you won’t do a whole lot better than Luka Doncic in this draft nor in drafts past — he brings so much to the table and to a high standard. Yes, there may be better shooters than him in this draft, yes there may more athletic prospects, yes there may be better post players, yes there may be better passers (if there are, not by much) but in one player? You’re not getting a player who’s more complete, both as a passer and a scorer, than Luka Doncic.

**Stay tuned for Part Four to come on Wednesday**