Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic will soon lead the NBA in triple-doubles

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

It won’t be long before the Dallas Mavericks star rookie, Luka Doncic unseats Russell Westbrook as king of triple doubles and starts leading the league

With 21 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds, Luka Doncic fell just one board shy of collecting his first NBA triple double. But despite absolutely zero triple doubles on his scorecard, Luka is a great bet to one day lead the NBA each season in this hard-to-achieve accomplishment.

Clearly, we are not declaring this fate to befall him this season. At only 19-years-old, Luka still has plenty of time to make this prognostication come true. In 32 games this season (I’ll remind you, the first 32-games of his NBA career) Luka is averaging 19 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game.

Things working in Luka’s Favor

There are multiple things working in Luka’s favor here. First is his size. At 6’7” and a thick 218 lbs, Luka is built like a man. In a sport where it looks like half the players could snap in half if pushed to the ground, Luka stands out like a Hawaiian shirt in a nudist colony.

It’s this size that aids in his ability to survive in the paint and get boards. It’s that positionaly abnormal size that lets him dominate against shorter smaller guards. Luka may be technically listed as a forward, but he’s a ball-handling guard at heart.

Court vision is another trait working in Luka’s favor. Even as rookie, he has top-10 NBA vision and awareness. This trait is key to bulking up those assist numbers. Frankly, it’s surprising to see the meager number of assists he’s credited night after night. Watching the game and noting the flow, it feels as if Luka is directly involved in nearly every play. As such it seems like he should already be averaging double digits in the assist column.

It won’t be long before Luka dominates as a distributor and it would be shocking if he didn’t reach that double-digit territory in the next three or four seasons.

What must be done?

Luka Doncic just needs to continue his current path and the Dallas Mavericks must keep surrounding him with reliable weapons. Luka will do the rest.

Last season, Russell Westbrook led the NBA in triple doubles with 25 over the span of 80 games. That’s a ridiculous number for the 30-year-old point guard from Oklahoma City. He’s essentially getting a triple double in over 31 percent of his games (almost one in every three games)!

This season Westbrook is doing much of the same, averaging a triple double (20.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.2 assists) again. He’s not going to be an easy player for Luka to overtake. But Russ is moving into the wrong side of 30, and we’re sure to see some slippage in the next three seasons or so. Additionally, it’s going to take time for Doncic to hone his skills and be that consistent performer Russ is right now.

Chasing the Champ

For a reference point, let’s look at how Westbrook has developed over the years because Russ wasn’t always the triple-double monster he is today. Russ entered the league at 20 (roughly) he didn’t start scoring at Luka’s level until year three.

Assists came easier. Russ averaged 5.3 his rookie season (compared to Luka’s 5.1). He then exploded for 8 per game his second season and eventually crossed the 10 plateau in season eight. Like I said before, we won’t have to wait until Luka’s eighth season to see the assists go double-digit.

Not surprisingly, rebounds were the highest hill to climb for the 6’3” Westbrook. He didn’t touch five until year five and ten didn’t start until season nine. Luka’s tremendous size says rebounds will come much easier (especially when certain stat hungry teammates aren’t stealing them.

dark. Next. Mavs Talk: Trades, Playoffs and Luka

Luka Doncic is progressing so quickly, it won’t be long before he’s leading the NBA in triple doubles each season. He’s the new face of the Dallas Mavericks and it won’t be long before he’s the new face of the NBA

  • Published on 12/27/2018 at 23:01 PM
  • Last updated at 12/28/2018 at 10:35 AM