Luka Doncic conceded he struggled to get going as the Dallas Mavericks were beaten 116-100 by the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.
Doncic is leading the way in the battle to be crowned Rookie of Year in the NBA after averaging 21.1 points, 5.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds with the Mavs.
Despite Doncic's impressive debut season, the Mavericks are struggling for form and their latest reverse was a 13th loss in 15 games, a run that has seen them eliminated from playoff contention.
The 20-year-old only scored 13 points against Sacramento, and he admitted he struggled against the close attention of the Kings' defenders.
"They have big defenders and I think we just had a really bad game, especially me," said Doncic. "They have amazing players.
"They're a young team and they have some really good talent. Every time I have some free days I really enjoy watching them. They play with energy, they play fast and they're just a great young team."
Coach Rick Carlisle added: "Everybody is loading up on him, so this is nothing new. We've seen a lot of this.
"He's got to keep attacking, making reads, seeing when double-teams are there and the right play is to advance the ball or hit a guy who's coming up from the corner or something like that, but it's tough."