Luka Doncic and LeBron James put on a show in the first meeting, with King James posting 39 points, 16 assists, and 12 rebounds while Doncic poured in 31 points with 15 assists and 13 rebounds.
Speaking of Doncic, Heavy.com’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson was recently a guest on the ‘A Different Lenz Podcast‘ with Katrina Plummer, JR Gamble and Mark Williams. The panel talked about how the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year has taken the league by storm. Robinson was asked if he thought Doncic would be where he is currently two years ago based on the early stages of his rookie season.
“The answer is no, but on the flip side, I’m not surprised,” said Robinson. “Simply because when you are a professional since were 15 or 16 years old – I read a book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. To be an expert in your field, you have to put in 10 thousand hours of practicing before you know what you are doing.”
“When I look at the situation with Luka, who has been a professional for a long time. If you look at the other guys coming out of Europe like a Dirk [Nowitzki], Peja Stojakovic, the late Drazen Petrovic, or even Vlade Divac. I think a lot of these guys are playing at a younger age and are young vets, even LeBron, I think, was always a veteran, and he is American. When it relates to European ballplayers, I think there is an adjustment from the European game. The funny thing is the NBA plays a European style of basketball,” Robinson said.
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Marc Stein Didn’t Think Doncic Would Posting Numbers He Is This Quickly
Marc Stein of the New York Times was recently interviewed by the Guardian’s Tom Kludt, and the two discussed the MVP-type season Luka Doncic is having during just his second year.
“No one, not even the biggest Luka believers thought he would do this in year two,” said Stein. “The NBA is almost a quarter of the way through the regular season, and he’s been one of the five best players in the league. Insane.”
Doncic is currently averaging 30.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 9.6 assists, and already has seven triple-doubles thus far.
After the first meeting with the Mavericks, King James had high praise for Doncic.
“I don’t really get into the one-on-one battle,” James said. “Obviously he’s a great young talent, I love his game, his ability to not only create shots for himself, but you guys know I love the fact that he can get great looks for his teammates. That’s what I thrive on, that’s what I’ve always believed in, and he just plays the game the right way.”
Mark Cuban on Luka’s Growth Between Rookie & Sophomore Seasons
Last month, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke with Fanatics View about Doncic’s progression from year one to year two. Not surprisingly, it featured quite a bit of praise, but Cuban dove deeper into what has helped Doncic succeed and even thrive during his sophomore season.
“I think he understands the game much better, time, and places much better and what is needed. He also understands his teammates, and where the opposing team is going to defend him better, but he is not all the way there, and he is more disciplined,” said Cuban. “He is not looking to get on a hot streak to try to take over a game, he is looking to try and win the game.”