Luka Dončić has very quickly gone from that player who puts up great stat lines in the face of losses, to that young star whose performances can inspire his team to victory. Most of that comes from his unique experience when compared to the other rookies in his class. His time playing in Europe has made it so that there’s very little you can do against Dončić that he hasn’t already seen before.
This was most recently displayed against the Phoenix Suns and the recently-acquired Kelly Oubre Jr. In a moment of hype, the young player saw his foe bringing the ball up the court and tried to get himself going with a strong slap on the hardwood floor—the basketball equivalent of the “bring it on” gesture in martial arts movies. Dončić, ever the mental veteran, saw the opportunity to embarrass someone four years his senior, and drove past Oubre for a one-legged fadeaway shot.
This capped one of the more impressive performances of the rookie’s season thus far as he finished with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in the Mavericks’ 104-94 win. It’s a shame that this on-court own won’t be counted in the box score.