Luka Doncic has played in just 13 playoff games in his career. But he’s already established himself as a bonafide playoff killer.
It’s been a long time since the NBA got a prospect as ready to dominate the league as Luka. The Slovenian Real Madrid product played professionally in Spain for 3 years before he moved across the Atlantic.
Instead of looking out of place with his admittedly sub-par conditioning, Doncic proceeded to make the NBA his happy hunting grounds. He’s been on an unbelievable tear over the past 2 seasons, finishing top 5 in MVP voting both times.
2 straight All-NBA First Team selections as a guard have solidified his place as the league’s best young player. If you really don’t think Luka is the best young player in basketball today, you only have to ask Paul George.
The Clippers’ ace swingman was left confused as Luka pulled off immaculate drives one after the other. There was precious little that Ty Lue or Doc Rivers could do to slow his offensive barrage down.
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Reggie Jackson all had to come good for them to take the dubs. Luka had a whopping 5 40-point games through his 13 appearances in both playoffs.
Can Luka Doncic lead Slovenia to a medal in Olympics Basketball tournament?
Doncic had ample opportunities through the past few weeks to take his mind off a second successive playoff elimination. He was busy leading an unheralded Slovenia team without Goran Dragic to the Olympics. And he succeeded in his attempts in spectacular fashion.
The Slovenian poured in a 31-point triple-double in the final of their Olympics qualifying tournament against Lithuania. He did this while running essentially the same play through 4 dominant quarters.
These displays have made it amply clear that Luka is the best player in the tournament not named Kevin Durant. And even KD would struggle to be the offensive hub for his teams in the fashion that Luka has – over the past 3 years.
Slovenia have been placed alongside Argentina, Spain and Japan in a tough Group C. Argentina and Spain were the 2 finalists at the FIBA World Cup 2 years ago. Both teams have a ton of experience – both in international play and at the NBA level.
Doncic will not have much by the way of NBA-level help at his side in the tournament. His pick-and-pop combinations with Mike Tobey proved to be deadly in the qualifying tournament, but his other teammates would mainly depend on him for scoring chances in the halfcourt.
Nevertheless, it is hard to bet against a man who shredded every single defensive coverage thrown at him in the playoffs. Expect Slovenia to make some major noise in these Olympics. A few people might raise their eyebrows if Argentina lose to them. I won’t be one of them.
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