NBA | Luka Doncic and his rare triple-double
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Luka Doncic appears at a place in his career where a triple-double is not unexpected. He approaches those numbers almost every night, and at the age of 23, he already holds the 10th-most triple-doubles in the history of the NBA with 47. However, Doncic entered the rare territory in Thursday night’s 129-125 overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets, becoming just the 10th player in league history to amass at least three triple-doubles of at least 40 points. Now that he has accomplished it precisely three times throughout his career, Doncic is tied with Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Pete Maravich, and Elgin Baylor.
As we’ve seen in the past, the Mavericks needed all 41 of Doncic’s points to defeat a Brooklyn club with Kyrie Irving scoring 39 points, and Kevin Durant adding another 37. Doncic’s performance was spectacular, but what made it even more so was how productive he was, shooting 14 of 28 from the field.
Although his scoring has received the majority of the attention, his passing was the true star of the evening. Luka Doncic has previously demonstrated why he is known as “Luka Magic,” and on Thursday he continued to do so as he handed out 14 assists, including four that were vital in overtime as they allowed open shooters like Reggie Bullock and Tim Hardaway Jr. to put the game out of reach. But by far the best pass of the night was made by Doncic to Maxi Kleber in the third quarter. Kleber bobbled the pass a little before completing it at the rim.
Doncic and his spectacular passes
Despite being on the receiving end of countless identical passes from Doncic in the past, Kleber was still taken aback by the budding superstar, even though he is capable of slipping a pass through the smallest of openings or fabricating one where there doesn’t seem to be one.
After the game, Kleber remarked, “I don’t know how he saw that pass; it was a very crazy pass, but for some reason playing with Luka now for a long time it kind of seemed like ‘he might see that pass’.” “I was like, ‘I have to be ready,’ because I saw all the guys helping up on him, and then the pass came. It was a beautiful pass, but I have no idea how he saw it.
When asked if Doncic practices those passes frequently, Kleber responded right away that the Slovenian superstar does.
Kleber remarked, “That’s similar to what he does in practice.” “Although it may seem like he’s just having fun at times, he truly works on those things. He has a great sense of where the guys are and where the aid is coming from. When he knows you’re going to be there, he will occasionally toss the ball over the man’s head since that is the quickest way to get the ball to him.”
When asked what passed through his head in that circumstance, Doncic responded that it was difficult to explain. Luka added, “I honestly don’t know; I don’t know.” “It’s difficult to describe. I’m not sure of the response, but I’ll probably claim that I’ve tried certain things on the court and they seem decent.”
He concurred with Kleber’s statement regarding the practice of those passes. According to Doncic, “I certainly try to do some silly things occasionally in practice, but then sometimes they succeed in games.”
Doncic experiments with these frequent passes in practice are not surprising to learn. It’s just incredibly astounding that he can execute them in live settings. When he’s on the floor with them, his teammates know they can expect anything, leading to highlight-reel assists.
Luka leads the league in scoring
Fortunately for the Mavericks, Doncic had a stellar performance that led to a victory. Dallas may only be 2-2, but their two losses were by a combined four points. Moreover, the true bright spot is that Doncic appears to have started the season without missing a beat. Doncic is performing at an elite level despite the controversy surrounding his conditioning at the beginning of the previous two seasons.
After the victory in Brooklyn, he now leads the league in scoring (36.3 points per game). With season averages of 9.5 rebounds and 9.3 assists, he is almost certain to record a triple-double. A shortcoming? At 26.3 percent, his 3-point shooting efficiency is pretty poor, but Dallas has the best offensive rating in the league. The Mavericks may develop into a formidable team if Doncic keeps putting out performances like the one against the Nets and his teammates continue to compete at a high level.
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