At some point soon, we might run out of superlatives to describe Luka Doncic. The 23-year-old has already become an undisputed superstar in the NBA and has a strong case for MVP this season even with the likes of Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Durant also having legitimate shots at the award.
His latest masterpiece against the Houston Rockets was enough to help them come back from an 18-point deficit in the third quarter, and he’s continuing to build his reputation as one of the most unstoppable players in the league. He finished the game with 39 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, a steal and just four turnovers in 41 minutes of play.
Doncic started off slowly, too, only scoring 10 points in the first half before exploding for 29 in the second half. Most importantly, he was instrumental in the 18-6 run that the Mavericks used to turn a 100-93 deficit into a 111-106 victory. In the last 5:52 of the game, Doncic scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds, assisted on a pair of threes and a layup and grabbed his only steal of the game. He was directly involved in 15 of the 18 points that they scored in that run. At such a young age, Doncic has already reached the stage where he can do whatever he wants on the court.
Even more importantly, Doncic is starting to build a bit more chemistry with his running mates. He still needs a true second star to help him in deep playoff runs, but he’s had praise for teammates like Christian Wood, who’s had an up and down season.
The Mavericks have now won seven games in a row and Doncic deserves the lion’s share of the victory. The kind of run he’s put on during that streak is insane as well. Here’s his numbers in those victories:
- Vs. Houston: 39 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, one steal.
- Vs. San Antonio: 51 points, six rebounds, nine assists, one block, four steals.
- Vs. Houston: 35 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, two blocks, one steal.
- Vs. New York: 60 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, one block, two steals.
- Vs. LA Lakers: 32 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, two steals.
- Vs. Houston: 50 points, eight rebounds, three steals.
- Vs. Minnesota: 25 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists, three steals.
Doncic has also had a number of high-IQ plays to help win games, such as forcing a missed free throw against the Spurs so he could grab the game-sealing rebounds.
He also missed on purpose against the Knicks, which allowed him to grab the miracle rebound and putback that forced overtime.
Doncic has made the Mavericks must-watch TV. Even when they lose, he often puts on a strong performance, and his influence on every game is undeniable. It’s easy to forget that he’s so young because he plays like a poised veteran, but his pedigree has always been there, especially after already winning the EuroLeague MVP at the tender age of 18. It’s no surprise that he’s won the Western Conference Player of the week award for the second week in a row, and he might threaten to do it for a third-straight depending on how his next few games goes.
The Mavericks are going to get a few days of rest before they play the Celtics on Friday at 8:30 AM (+8 GMT). That will be a big test against the reigning Eastern Conference champions, and I can’t wait to see if Doncic and the Mavericks can pull off another difficult victory.