The Dallas Mavericks got a complete and total steal in rookie Luka Doncic. And it wouldn’t have mattered when they drafted him, as that statement stands true regardless. Doncic has been exceptional throughout the early stages of his NBA career, proving capable of doing anything asked of him at a high level. And if his numbers and highlights aren’t proof of that, then Stephen Curry confirmed it on Sunday.
After the Golden State Warriors and Mavericks squared off, Curry met with Doncic and had a message for him. Or, it was more of a tip of the cap technically, as Curry’s advice for the 19-year-old was to keep doing what he’s doing because it’s working, as ESPN’s Nick Friedell revealed.
That’s pretty great from Steph, and it’s apparent he walked away from the matchup impressed with the rookie. Although the Mavericks fell to the Warriors 119-114 in this matchup, Doncic had a big game with 26 points on 8-18 shooting (5-10 from beyond the arc). He also tacked on six rebounds and five assists.
Unfortunately, Curry’s sharpshooting was too much for Dallas, as he knocked down 11 shots from deep and racked up 48 points with six rebounds and five assists. While the top Rookie of the Year candidate is coming along well in his NBA career, he’s got a bit of work to do before catching up to the Warriors star.
Luka Doncic’s Strong Start to Rookie Season
Doncic has quickly proven that he’s capable of providing a scoring punch, running the offense, finding open teammates, rebounding, playing defense, and doing anything else imaginable. It’s been a head-turning start to his NBA career, as he’s racked up averages of 20.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists over the first 42 games.
Although the Mavericks have bounced around the standings in a strong Western Conference, they sit with a 20-23 record currently, just three games back of the final playoff spot. The West is a crowded bunch, as just 10 games separate the current No. 1 seed (Denver Nuggets) and the No. 14 seed (Memphis Grizzlies).
Thanks to Doncic’s strong play and a Mavericks group with an intriguing amount of talent, there’s a reason to believe this group could find their way into the playoffs. Obviously, there’s a lot of basketball still to be played and Dallas has work to do, but the potential for a second-half run is certainly there for this team.