The Rare-Air Game Of Dallas Maverick Luka Doncic

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The Rare-Air Game Of Dallas Maverick Luka Doncic

Post by admin » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:21 am

Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks’ 20-year-old scoring/rebounding/passing machine imported from Slovenia, is now listed at 7-to-1 to reign as the NBA’s most valuable player at the conclusion of his second season in the world’s most advanced basketball league.

According to, the omnipresent online oddsmaker, only the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (7-to-4), the 2018 MVP, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (2-to-1), the reigning MVP, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, a four-time MVP, rank ahead of Doncic as early contenders in the MVP race.

In Doncic’s immediate wake are Anthony Davis (12-to-1), Kawhi Leonard (16-to-1), Joel Embiid (28-to-1) and Nikola Jokic (28-to-1).

Doncic, it should be noted, opened the season at 20-t0-1, which ranked him ninth in the MVP race.

Through Wednesday night, Doncic was averaging 29.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 9.4 assists per game. Only Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 and Russell Westbrook in 2018-2019 finished complete NBA seasons averaging triple doubles. Interestingly, neither won MVP awards.

It doesn't hurt that in Wednesday’s nationally televised game, Doncic scored 42 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 11 assists in less than 26 minutes of play against a moribund, injury-plagued Golden State team. He did not step on the court in the fourth quarter of the game that finished 142-94.

No Steph Curry. No problem. ESPN had Luka Doncic on display. Playing for the Mavericks, a relatively anonymous NBA team, he is threatening to become a household name outside of Dallas and his hometown of Ljubljana.

Doncic now has seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season. Against the Warriors, he became the second NBA player this Millennium to out-score, out-rebound and out-assist the other team in a quarter. He scored 22 points to go with five rebounds and five assists in the first quarter. Move over Allen Iverson circa 2002-2003

Mavericks historians might note here that the team’s general manager Donnie Nelson famously wanted to draft the 6-11 Antetokounmpo (aka “The Greek Freak”) with the 13thpick of the 2013 draft but was overruled by owner Mark Cuban, who favored trading the pick, Kelly Olynyk, to the Boston Celtics. Antetokounmpo, now 24, ultimately went to the Bucks who had the 15thpick.

Experts and others now can argue if they would rather have Antetokounmpo or Doncic, the third pick in the 2018 draft. For if the Mavericks had drafted Antetokounmpo, they almost certainly wouldn’t have been in position to move up two spots to take Doncic in 2018.

Doncic, the defending rookie of the year, would be the third player to skyrocket from rookie of the year to MVP. Bob Pettit accomplished the feat in the 1950s. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it at the start of the 1970s. Wilt Chamberlain in 1960 and Wes Unseld in 1969 were both selected as the MVP and rookie of the year. All are safely in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. All were included in the NBA’s 50thAnniversary All-Time Team of 50 players in 1996.

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