Luka Doncic Given a Brutal Reality Check on Why Giannis Is the “Best Player on Earth” Despite Being Eliminated By Celtics: “You Can’t Win That Way in the Modern NBA”

Published 05/17/2022, 3:30 PM EDT
Dec 8, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd (left) talks with guard Luka Doncic (77) during the second half against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic has established himself as a viable candidate for the ‘best player in the world’ conversation in his four years in the NBA. Even though most critics have been averse to anointing a very young Doncic as the best in the league so early in his career, after the Mavericks’ blowout game 7 victory over the Suns many are reconsidering their arguments.

Doncic almost single-handedly took a bottom-tier Dallas Mavericks team to their first playoffs in years in his second year in the league. Moreover, he has put up stellar performances in every playoff series he has played so far, averaging a staggering 32.7 points, 8.3 assists, and 9.3 boards in 23 games.

Mar 16, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts during the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

These historic numbers have put him alongside Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Wilt Chamberlain in their early years. But some critics are still reluctant to attach labels to Luka’s name because he has only won two playoff series so far in his career.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is still the best player in the world

Sports analyst Nick Wright had called Doncic one of the best playoff performers ever on the show “First Things First” on FS1 after the Mavs defeated the Jazz in the first round. His chief adversary on the show, Chris Broussard, vehemently disagreed. The sample size was too small for him.

Notably, Broussard picked the Suns to get past the Mavericks in four or five games. On the other hand, Wright picked the Mavs to win.

After the Mavs absolutely vanquished the Suns at their home, Broussard was a little subdued in his approach. But he still refused to accept Doncic as the best player in the world after the 23-year-old put on a show with 35 points and 10 rebounds in just three-quarters.

When asked by the host “Can Luka be crowned best player on earth?”, Broussard said, “Yes, he can. And what he has to do is obviously a big chore. Win the championship. Nothing less will suffice.

Broussard emphasized the fact that Luka is still a liability on the defensive end. And Giannis is a former DPOY. His lockdown defense was a major factor in Bucks’ championship victory last year.

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That’s why Giannis is still the best player in the world in Broussard’s opinion.

Luka Doncic as a potential NBA champion

Broussard pointed out that Doncic is the sole scorer, playmaker, floor-general, and high-volume shooter in the Mavericks’ roster. Teams with similar structures, like the Rockets with James Harden, struggle to win championships.

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You can’t win that way in the modern-day NBA“, he added.

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However, Broussard admitted that if Doncic wins this year without a second star in the team, he will concede his position. And accept ‘Luka Legend’ as the best player in basketball.

The Mavericks will play the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

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Satagni Sikder

157 articles

Satagni Sikder is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has been following the NBA since 2017. Moreover, he supports the Dallas Mavericks, and unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is his favorite player.

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