The Dallas Mavericks are gearing up for another deep playoff run. After reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, they will aim to go even further next year. And so far this offseason, they’ve made some solid moves in order to inch toward that goal.
Despite losing Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks, they’ve found other ways to improve. Dallas traded for big man Christian Wood and handed center JaVale McGee a three-year deal. But as great as those contracts could end up being, there’s nothing more critical to Dallas’ success than the continued improvement of Luka Doncic.
Each and every season, Doncic has found new ways to improve. He’s already one of the best players in the world, but he’s also only 23 years old. And according to former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, Doncic should be the favorite to win the MVP award this season.
“You see videos of him training and based on that do not be surprised if he balls the way he balled last year in the playoffs,” Rose said on the August 8 edition of ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby. “I don’t know what Vegas says, but he’s in pole position for winning MVP this year.”
Doncic has yet to win the MVP thus far in his young career, but he’s almost always been in conversations for the award. And Rose believes that there’s one primary factor that could lead to Doncic winning it this season.
Why Doncic Should Be Frontrunner
Throughout the course of his career, the main knock on Doncic’s game actually has nothing to do with his game at all. Instead, it’s about his body. The media and fans constantly critique Doncic’s body and say that he’s not in shape. But this summer, it looks like he’s worked on his body a lot, and Rose took notice.
“Luka being in the best shape of his life is going to be a game changer not only for the Mavs but for the NBA,” Rose said.
This past season, Doncic finished fifth in MVP voting behind only Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Devin Booker. In the 65 games he appeared in, Doncic averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists on 45.7% shooting from the field and 35.3% shooting from behind the three-point line. He’s also made the All-NBA First Team in each of the past three seasons.
And Rose seems to be correct about Doncic’s body. Recent viral photos that have emerged caused Twitter to go into a frenzy.
Doncic Goes Viral With New Body
On August 1, a fan posted a photo with Doncic, and in the image, Doncic looked a look skinnier than he did during the season. Twitter quickly dubbed this version of Doncic “Skinny Luka.”
There was also another picture that came out of Doncic competing with the Slovenian National Team. In that photo, he also looked skinnier than normal. Mavericks fans quickly paired the image together and began getting excited about the star’s potential performance next season.
It seems like fans and the media alike are excited to see Doncic in action next year, with some taking their predictions to the next level.