The Dallas Mavericks are off to one of their best starts in years, and that’s largely because last year’s rookie of the year, Luka Doncic, is playing like a Superstar
The Dallas Mavericks, led by second year star, Luka Doncic, have been one of the more surprising teams over the first month of the season. Luka Doncic’s impressive early season play has NBA greats like Derek Harper and Paul Pierce calling him a top 10 player “right now”, and Luka’s numbers back up those claims.
Luka is off to a historic start to the 2019-20 season. Doncic is the first player since Oscar Robertson to have 250 points,100 rebounds, and 80 assist in the first ten games of the season. Luka is currently leading the league in touches( number of times a player possesses the ball on their team’s offensive side of the court per game.) With 102.4 per game. This stat is extremely impressive because the Dallas Mavericks currently lead the league in offensive efficiency.
Luka is also ranked fourth in player efficiency, and sixth in usage rate. It’s even more impressive when you take Luka’s age and NBA experience into consideration.
Doncic is also leading the Dallas Mavericks in points, assist, rebounds, and is tied with Delon Wright with 1.1 steals per game. Luka is currently tied with LeBron James for most triple doubles this season with four. Speaking of LeBron James Luka recently broke LeBron’s record for most 30 point triple-doubles before the age of 21. He also broke Mavericks legend Jason Kidd‘s team record for most 20 point triple-doubles with 10.
It’s still early, but Doncic shows no sign of having the decline in production that’s often seen during a player’s second year. The so-called “sophomore slump” is normally the result of their opponents being better prepared to stop a player, because they’ve had the opportunity to collect game film.
Last year’s Rookie of the Year came into this season seeming to have a better grasp on what he does well. This may not seem like much but often young players come into their second season trying to do too much. They lose sight of brought them success the year before.
When watching Luka play you can tell that he sees plays develop before they do. This ability to think a step ahead makes up for him being a step slow. Luka uses his high basketball IQ on both side of the ball. Because Luka understands what his opponent wants to do he’s able to put himself in positions to be effective.
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For example: Luka is a solid pick and roll defender, because he’s able to read the roller and put himself in positions to steal the pass. This is an extremely useful skill to have in today’s pick and roll heavy NBA. It’s small things like this that make Doncic so good and the fact that he understands these things at such a young age is truly special.
Some fans question the high praise bestowed upon Luka so early in his career. I challenge those fans to name 10 players having a better season than Luka so far. Keep in mind that we’re only talking about active players. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Paul George, and Klay Thompson are excluded from the conversation because of injuries. Those fans should also keep in mind that Luka is doing this on a winning team. Players like Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard‘s scoring outburst haven’t led to team wins.
When you consider the somewhat surprising early success of the Dallas Mavericks, and Luka’s impact, it’s not hard to understand why Luka is in the early conversation for NBA MVP. I don’t see Luka winning MVP in just his second season. I do believe however that he has been one of the top ten players so far this year, and barring injury I see no reason he won’t continue his impressive play.
- Published on 11/13/2019 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 11/13/2019 at 07:53 AM