The NBA is in the midst of a generational shift. Luka Doncic, an 18-year old rookie sensation, is leading the way for the next generation of basketball players. Here are five things he needs to do this season to continue his legacy.
Luka Doncic is the next face of the NBA. He has a lot to prove this season as he tries to live up to his hype and make the Dallas Mavericks successful. Read more in detail here: luka doncic and kristaps porzingis.
Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks has been dubbed “the future face of the NBA” since his selection in 2018. Despite entering the NBA as a 19-year-old, Doncic has exceeded expectations. He quickly lived up to the expectations and established himself as Slovenia’s top player.
Doncic, who is in his fourth season, has already earned two All-Star appearances, two All-NBA First Team choices, and a Rookie of the Year award. He is without a doubt the Mavericks’ public face.
But, although he has been incredible, he still has a long way to go in his career, particularly if he wants to be considered for the GOAT award. Michael Jordan, the late Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, among his predecessors, spent little time showing they were the next great thing during their early years. Let’s speak about what Luka Doncic has to do in the next season as he enters his fourth season.
A longer postseason run
Despite having a stellar NBA career, Doncic has yet to lead the Mavericks into deep waters in the NBA Playoffs. The Mavericks were eliminated in the first round of the 2020 playoffs by the Los Angeles Clippers. Despite a 2-0 series lead, the Clippers re-established their dominance in the first round last season.
Doncic must find a way to get his club beyond the first round this season. He has to show that he can win the games that count the most if he wants to be the future face of the NBA.
In fact, his opponent, Trae Young, accomplished this last season. After defeating the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks, who controversially traded Doncic for Young, advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
THE HAWKS ARE GETTING BETTER.
Atlanta advances to the Eastern Conference Finals after winning Game 7 in Philadelphia! pic.twitter.com/LYRLUfnRnT
June 21, 2021 — NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT)
As a result of Young’s success, the Hawks have been cleared of the criticism they received as a result of the deal. Unfortunately, their triumph has come at the cost of Doncic’s postseason struggles.
Still, it’s fair to say that the Mavericks’ star player has plenty of opportunity to establish himself in the NBA Playoffs. And, more significantly, Doncic will have plenty of chances to win a title in his early career. But, before further questions are thrown against him, he has to start cultivating success in the playoffs immediately.
MVP Award Winner
Given that Doncic is the NBA’s future face, there’s no better way to do it than by winning the MVP award. This season, he has a strong chance of achieving so.
Last season, he was an MVP candidate, averaging 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. Despite finishing in the top ten in the MVP voting, the trophy went to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
With a more mature Doncic entering the season, it wouldn’t be surprising if he was named the league’s MVP. He just returned from the Tokyo Olympics, where he led Slovenia to a record fourth place result. After averaging 23.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game, he was named to FIBA’s All-Star Five for the tournament.
Top 4 in the globe, with a population of 2 million people! What a sensation! bK0woXuDRT pic.twitter.com/mislovenci #mislovenci
August 3, 2021 — Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic)
He signed a five-year, $207 million supermax contract with the Mavericks last summer, in addition to a successful tenure with Slovenia. As a result, he is very motivated this season.
According to @wojespn, Luka Doncic has signed to a five-year, $207 million supermax rookie deal extension.
— August 9, 2021, NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT)
Breaking into the top 100 triple-doubles of all time
Luka Doncic’s polished all-around game is one of the reasons for his dominance. He was a walking triple-double last season. He now has 36 triple-doubles, making him the Mavericks’ new triple-double leader. He also became the second-fastest player in NBA history to achieve 35 triple-doubles.
Luka Doncic has only been in the NBA for two seasons, but he’s already a triple-double king!
With 25 triple-doubles, he is the Mavs’ all-time leader in triple-doubles.
He’s also had more triple-doubles in his career than the Utah Jazz (24) and Memphis Grizzlies (20) combined. twitter.com/gcUFKsC4oK
November 16, 2020 — Basketball Forever (@Ballforeverfb)
Doncic is now only a few points away from breaking into the top ten all-time list, where he is currently ranked 11th. Given his domination, catching Fat Lever, who scored 43, won’t be tough.
If the Mavericks’ star in the top 10, it will undoubtedly strengthen his case as the league’s next face. He’ll also be joining an exclusive group that includes MVPs and Hall of Famers. But, more significantly, he’ll be the group’s youngest member.
Honorable mentions for defense
Doncic is a dangerous offensive threat at the highest level. However, one way he may improve his game is to improve his defense. Although winning Defensive Player of the Year is a big shot, getting named to one of the All-Defensive Teams isn’t impossible.
After averaging 1.0 thefts and an improved 0.5 blocks per game previous season, the smart guard has steadily improved his defense. Rick Carlisle, a former Mavericks coach, credited Doncic (via Mavs.com).
“He’s improved in almost every area of the game,” says the coach. As a player enters his third and fourth seasons, he begins to understand what it takes to regularly succeed in this league. And defense is a significant component of it.”
Doncic understands the importance of defense in the game.
“Playing defense is how you win championships.” Luka Doncic, Luka Doncic, Luka Doncic, Luka Doncic
January 14, 2021 — The Kobe Beef (@TheKobeBeef)
Great players aren’t only the greatest scorers; they also have an influence on other aspects of the game. LBJ, MJ, and Kobe have all been members of All-Defensive Teams, despite their offensive prowess. In fact, in 1988, Jordan was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Luka Doncic will become a dangerous two-way threat if he can improve his defense. If he can improve his defense, the Mavericks will be a stronger team overall.
Kristaps Porzingis can help you succeed.
Although this isn’t a watershed moment in Doncic’s career, making it work with Porzingis will do wonders for his already illustrious resume. While the players in the GOAT debates were exceptional on their own, they need exceptional teammates to assist them enhance their legacies.
The Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis from the Knicks in a deal to surround Doncic with quality. Despite glimpses of greatness, Porzingis has been plagued by ailments that have hampered the team’s progress.
KP hasn’t lived up to the Mavericks’ expectations. In the previous playoffs, he only averaged 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Aside from a drop in output, Porzingis has expressed dissatisfaction with his role as a backup to Doncic. Tensions between the two players reportedly escalated, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Because Doncic is the focal point of the Mavericks’ offense, Porzingis has taken a backseat, which he doesn’t like.
Fortunately, the Mavericks’ new coach, Jason Kidd, may be able to assist the team. With a 4-0 record in preseason, the squad went unbeaten. And it seems that their All-Stars are enjoying the new coaching staff’s guidance.
ICYMI, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are beaming as the season begins. #Mavs #MFFL https://t.co/mnFpxc7Sox
October 18, 2021 — The Smoking Cuban (@thesmokingcuban)
If Doncic and Porzingis can make it work, they might be an unstoppable one-two punch. The sky’s the limit with the former’s ability to create off the dribble and the latter’s perimeter game. Luka Doncic will not only be able to fulfill his contract with KP, but he will also be able to win a championship, cementing his status as the NBA’s new poster boy.
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