Luka Doncic is already one of the NBA’s biggest stars, and he took the floor on his first game of the 2023 FIBA World Cup to remind everyone that his smooth game was built on the international rules long before he was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks.
Doncic was basically unstoppable against Venezuela in their opening game of the group stages, which Slovenia won 100-85. His full arsenal of offensive wizardry was on display as he finished the game with 37 points, seven rebounds and six assists while shooting 11 of 18 from the field and 13 of 16 from the free throw line.
By far the best player on the floor, there was little the Venezuelas could do to stop Doncic. However, even more important for Slovenia was how two of Doncic’s teammates stepped up to aid his efforts.
Mike Tobey, who plays for FC Barcelona in Spain, was unconscious from the field as he made all nine of his field goal attempts to finish with 21 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Klemen Prepelic, who also plays in Spain for Valencia, chipped in 18 points and six rebounds of his own while going 5 of 9 overall and 5 of 7 from the charity stripe.
Seeing as how much gravity Doncic has on the court, his teammates must continue making their open shots to ensure that they make a deep run in the tournament. You can’t expect players to continue playing games without a miss, but they still need to hit at a good clip to help Doncic out when defences inevitably collapse on him in the later rounds of the tournament.
Doncic and Slovenia will take on Georgia next on Monday, August 28, at 7:30pm.