Mavericks Coach Compares Luka Doncic with LeBron James, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, and Others

Published 04/12/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Apr 5, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts during the first half against the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


This last one week has been absolutely crazy for the Mavericks who have produced unpredictable results. They defeated WC toppers Utah Jazz and crushed the fearless Bucks while losing against the pitiful Rockets. And now, they have lost to the Spurs in a two-point game that washed off Luka Doncic’s efforts.

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The Slovenian is averaging almost identical to his last season numbers, and it has helped the Mavs come out of misery multiple times this year. As a result, Mark Cuban’s team is sitting comfortably at #7 in the WC. But which aspect of Luka’s game seemed the most impressive, and which legend(s) does he resemble?

Luka Doncic and his ever improvising self

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Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, Maxi Kleber, and Jalen Brunson react against the Jazz at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Just as the Spurs defeated the Mavs 119-117, coach Rick Carlisle gave the post-game interview and discussed the shortcomings. Also, he heaped huge praises on Luka Doncic, who had a game that was far from flawless. 

The 61-YO coach expressed admiration for Luka’s post-game and declared that one such gameplay is unique to Luka. He detailed, “It reminds me of Luka Doncic, he’s been this good. He’s gotten better over two and a half years. But, he’s been good in the post ever since he came here. It’s a great skill, and you know tonight, San Antonio was mixing up some late double teams.” 

Luka Magic has always impressed the critics with his pivoting and his ability to play with his back to the basket. The 22-YO player does not fear contact and draws crucial fouls when his team needs them the most. Just as the head coach further added, He does both, he gets the catch, he sees the floor. The great ones like him and [Jason] Kidd, and [Larry] Bird, and LeBron [James], Kobe [Bryant], those kind of guys, they’ve got (indiscernible) advice at the back of their head. So he was great in the post, all night long.” A comparison with franchise great Jason Kidd and that with other legends was a huge praise.

Read also – ‘Huge Fan of Your Game’ – Mavericks’ Luka Doncic Recieves Special Gift From Former MVP Derrick Rose

The Mavericks and their many woes against the Spurs

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The Mavs looked under-confident from the aggressive end as they drew just 15 FTAs as opposed to Spurs’ 27. Plus, coach Carlisle’s side attempted twice the number of three-pointers as compared to their opponents (21) but converted only 31%. Luka himself managed just two conversions off his eight attempts. He even dropped a buzzer-beater opportunity to close the game and eventually faced a loss. 

The score was tied with 20 seconds remaining, but the Mavs’ continued to trail and allowed DeMar DeRozan to make the winning step back. This performance from the Mavs has reopened the discussion that they might face difficulties surpassing the Round 1 mark even if they reach the playoffs. 

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What do you think, can Luka’s side go deeper into the postseason? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1145 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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