In a way-too-early look at NBA awards, Luka Dončić is performing like one of the league’s top stars. He entered this season with All-Star aspirations, but his current play may very well lead to MVP votes. The Slovenian superstar is on a mission to lead the Dallas Mavericks back into the playoffs and is doing so while filling up the box score in insane fashion. Dončić is, without a doubt, an MVP candidate.
Luka Dončić in the Running for MVP
His exact averages per game are eye-popping. In six games he’s averaging 26.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 9.5 assists on 46.4 percent shooting per game. With four wins on record so far, Dončić also has the Mavericks sitting at fourth in the west.
Dončić’s worst game this season came versus the Denver Nuggets. He only managed to put up 12 points, five assists, and four rebounds. The fact that those “low” numbers are factored in his current averages speaks volumes on his current level of play. He’s on “triple-double alert” almost every game, in addition to scoring 25 plus points.
The Mavericks’ game versus the New Orleans Pelicans would’ve been a statement game for any ordinary player, but not Dončić. He put up 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in a win, but no one batted an eye.
Dončić’s primetime game came versus the Los Angeles Lakers. In an overtime battle that did end up in a loss, Dončić put up 31 points, 15 assists, and 13 rebounds. This came versus LeBron James, and Dončić himself even made a few defensive stops on James.
Whether it came through clutch shots or astonishing alley-oop passes, Dončić was all over the floor. This was noticed by James and looked like it even elevated his game. James’ post-game comments on Dončić showed what the league truly thinks of the budding star.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) November 2, 2019
The Mavericks were able to win their next game, albeit versus a much weaker Cleveland Cavaliers squad. Dončić secured another triple-double in the third quarter and ended the game with 29 points, 15 assists, and 14 rebounds. His tenacity and will to win did not diminish versus a weaker opponent.
What’s to Come
The season, of course, is still very young. With this being said, Dončić has already shown major improvement from his rookie season, and it only helps that he’s surrounded by more talent. Dončić averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and six assists per game as a rookie last season. The fact that he’s already a lot better than that speaks volumes on his current ability and seemingly limitless potential.
As Kristaps Porzingis continues to find his footing as well, the Mavericks will only become better. The one-two punch between the two European stars should become one of the best in the league. In addition, rising players like Dwight Powell, Jalen Brunson, Seth Curry, and more are developing strong chemistry and bond with their star player. Dončić has the individual tools to bring the Mavericks back to the playoffs, and perhaps a bit more. The league is on notice, and the Dončić MVP campaign is real.