Luka Doncic has taken the next step in his evolution as a basketball player. Most players, they never take this step, and if they do, it takes them several years of NBA experience before taking it. The step I’m talking about is the “put up good numbers while having a not-so-good game” step. This is a superstar type step he is taking, folks. We saw it a few games ago when he got a triple-double while shooting 5-for-20 from the field, and we saw it a little bit tonight.
We also saw James Harden do it in this game, with only his ruthless statpadding propelling him to the 30-point mark. Doncic may not be at that level of statpadding/reputationpadding yet, but he’ll get there, but when he does, that’s when we can talk about an MVP award.
This may sound like a bad thing, but it’s really not. Giannis is another player that does it all the time. He’s had innumerable games where it didn’t seem like things were going right for him, and then you look at the boxscore and he has like 25/12/5 or something. Take this game for example. Doncic stopped scoring in the first half basically, turned it over a bunch, missed free throws, but he still ended up at 21/10/8. That’s a nice statline, almost a triple-double, easily the kind of statline where you can look at it and then watch this video and come away with the impression that he had another great game. And that’s the point. Mavericks fans will know the truth, but how many of them are still around to spread it? They’re in semi-hibernation, staying isolated in their own little dens, until Kristaps comes back.