Mavericks’ Luka Doncic Is ‘Sneaky Athletic,’ Says Heat Star Jimmy Butler

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 28: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on October 28, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The news came Sunday that Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic would miss at least four games due to a right ankle sprain, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News first reported. The injury came in the first half of a 122-118 loss to the Miami Heat, and it’s being described as “moderate,” according to Townsend.

“Doncic will not travel to Milwaukee and instead will receive treatment with trainer Casey Smith, per Mavs. Source tells me Doncic almost certainly will miss this stretch of 4 straight games against the top teams in the East, but could be back soon after Christmas,” Townsend tweeted.

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Jimmy Butler Sounds off on Luka Doncic

After the Heat beat the Mavericks on Saturday night, Jimmy Butler spoke on Doncic’s game.

“He is tough, he does everything well, and he gets everyone involved, shoots it, gets to the rim, sneaky athletic too. If I had to say that if I had to watch somebody to pay to watch, he goes in that category,” said Butler.

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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle echoed similar praise, speaking about how Doncic is excellent at making his teammates better.

“One of the things that makes him the most special is he has the ability when he steps on the floor to make the four other guys significantly better,” the veteran coach said of Doncic, per Callie Caplan of the Dallas News.

Luka Doncic is currently averaging 30.4 points, 9.9 boards, and 9.3 assists a game. The Dallas Mavericks are currently third in the Western Conference with a 17-8 record.


Tracy McGrady & Doug Christie on Luka Doncic

Last month, ESPN’s NBA Analyst Tracy McGrady dubbed Doncic as the best point guard in the game, with both Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving out due to injuries.

“He is becoming my favorite; I actually like tuning in and watching this kid because he does everything. It’s crazy that the pace that he plays with he is able to be so effective. He is not the quickest, the fastest, the most athletic, but he is such a cerebral player, and with Steph [Curry] being out, I know Kyrie [Irving] is out right now, [Russell] Westbrook. I’m going to say this, he is the best point guard in the game right now with Steph being out,” said McGrady.

Last week, I spoke with former player-turned-analys Doug Christie about how Doncic improved from his rookie season to year two.

“You know, he has been improved to watch what he has been able to do.  I think he learned a lot from last year, and you can tell he has put in the tremendous work amount of work. I think the biggest part of his game is the ability to knock down the three-ball at a high clip. On a night to nightly basis, he is scoring 20, 22, 25 points, but when he is knocking down the three-ball, he is scoring 30, 40 points, and obviously the ability to rebound the basketball and the unselfishness to find his teammates he has an extremely high usage rate,” Christie told me.

“So, he has the ball in his hands a lot and when you have that sometimes we see it with James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, those type players. If they don’t get their teammates involved, it could be tough for them, but he [Doncic] definitely gets the rest of his team involved, and when that happens, they are really tough to beat,” said Christie.

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