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Luka is Taking Over the NBA
After a heated free agency this summer, one of the obvious developments was the creation of many new “duos” across the league. Harden and Westbrook ended up in Houston. LeBron and Davis in Los Angeles. Kawhi and George in the other part of Los Angeles. But one that went under-the-radar is the new duo in Dallas – Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
But as this season has started, Dallas has looked more like the Luka show than a true dynamic duo. And with Dallas thriving in a crowded Western Conference, I think it’s time to start putting Luka in the MVP Conversation.
The MVP discussion has been mostly about James Harden (averaging almost 40 PPG) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (30 PPG and 14 RPG), two superstars leading their teams to impressive records. But, the argument for these two is mainly around their individual performances as opposed to their team’s successes. But Luka is right up there with these guys in terms of stats.
Doncic is currently sitting at 29.5 PPG (not including the current Mavericks game, where he has 33 at the half), 10.7 RPG and 9.3 APG. This is dangerously close to a triple double per game and is more than impressive stat line. With these stats, Doncic sits in 4th for PPG, 10th in RPG, and 2nd in APG. The only other player to be in the top 10 for these three categories? There isn’t one. It’s JUST Doncic. In fact, Doncic’s current stats make him the highest scorer and passer in history for players 20 or under, as well as 4th all time – behind only Shaq, Andre Drummond, and Dwight Howard. These stats are more than worthy of a MVP nomination, no matter his age.
And if you’d like to bring out the “but MVP is supposed to be for the player who is the most important to their team and their SUCCESS” argument (which very rarely actually happens), then Doncic should fit your argument as well.
The Mavericks last season finished 33-49, one of the worst finishes in franchise history (especially coming off of several years of playoff runs). This was a disappointing finish to say the least. But now, through 13 games this season, the Mavericks are sitting at 8-5, the 5th seed in the Western Conference. With the Mavericks on track to win 50 games this season, it’s obvious that Doncic is the catalyst for this “glow-up”. Without Doncic, the Mavericks do have a solid star in Porzingis (who I don’t feel too strongly for), but he alone isn’t enough to compete in a crowded Western Conference. Doncic is the reason the Mavs are good. He’s the facilitator, the scorer, the rebounder, the defensive presence, and the leader for the Mavericks’ newly successful team. In short, he’s their MVP, and potentially the league’s.