The Mavs star is shooting a putrid 48.1% from the free-throw line on 27 attempts. His 7-for-13 showing in Game 3, which comes out to 53.8%, was actually an improvement from his first two games, where he shot a combined 6-for-14.
Dallas fell to the Los Angeles Clippers by 10 points, but had he been more efficient with his free throws, the game could have ebbed and flowed in a different manner. It could come back to bite them harder later in the series.
His shooting at the charity stripe is so bad, it's worse than his actual field goal shooting, and nearly as bad as his three-point percentage.
Luka Doncic is shooting better from the floor than the FT line in the playoffs.
48.1 FT% pic.twitter.com/0qXwnNdDxM
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 29, 2021
That's absolutely nuts given how well Doncic knifes his way through defenders during in-game action. Maybe the Mavs star needs hands in his grill to focus better? A wide open midrange shot might not cut it for someone of his caliber.
Jokes aside, the fact that he's already playing at an all-time level while still possessing such a glaring hole in his game is frustrating, but also scary. Doncic has been a below-average free throw shooter throughout his young career, owning a 73.5% career average.
While that number definitely still has to go up, had he shot just his career average in this series, Doncic's per-game numbers would go from 38.0 points per night to an eye-popping 40.3.
In a game where the end result could very well come down to the final possession, adding an extra bucket to the Mavs' point total every night could spell the difference in this series.
But given how seriously Doncic takes the game of basketball, it'd be a tough bet to go against him improving as a foul shooter. Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers better hope it's not til after the series, though.