Luka Doncic is enjoying a rookie campaign for the ages, and the Dallas Mavericks forward is in the midst of a run not seen since Michael Jordan’s first season in the NBA.
After posting a stat line of 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in Wednesday’s 105-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Doncic has put up 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in four straight games. Given such a streak for a rookie was last accomplished by MJ, it’s safe to say the 19-year-old rising star is having an elite-level rookie campaign (via Basketball Reference’s Justin Kubatko).
Luka Doncic is the first rookie since Michael Jordan to record at least 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists in four straight games. Doncic and Jordan are the only rookies since the ABA-NBA merger to accomplish the feat (Jordan had two such streaks of five games). pic.twitter.com/e3jZwkeWpj— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) January 17, 2019
Doncic certainly has something to shoot for Saturday when the Mavs take on the Pacers if he wants to be like Mike. Then, he’ll have to do it again this season to duplicate Jordan’s outstanding dual stretch of rookie basketball.
Even if Doncic does not go on to exactly replicate Jordan’s first-year accomplishments, he nevertheless remains the current favorite to take home the NBA Rookie of the Year hardware at season’s end.
On the season, Doncic is averaging 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field (37.2 percent from beyond the arc).
Possibly just as impressive is how Doncic is eliciting praise from Gregg Popovich, both as a player and as a person.
Great stuff from Gregg Popovich. Before the game, Pop was asked what stands out to him about Luka pic.twitter.com/gfGPnE8T0L— Mark Followill (@MFollowill) January 17, 2019
That’s some pretty high praise from Pop, to say the least.