Rookie phenom Luka Dončić put the Dallas Mavericks on the back in the last 90 seconds of the match against Minnesota Timberwolves last night. His first two coupling baskets came on the rim thanks to picks that DeAndre Jordan sat. The first unit resulted in a heavily disputed arrangement, and the other resulted in a two-handed slam with Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson who contested the attempt. Dončić did not need Jordan on his third and final clutch shot, as he only picked a place behind the line and dropped late three.
Dončić, as he usually does, did more than just make the three baskets down the stretch. He finished the game with 29 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds and two stems, and with this latest record of performances, the NBA Rookie of the Year was unlocked. But he not only puts on what would be considered impressive numbers for any rookie, he becomes one of the most connected players in the league and the statistics bake it up. Here's how he picks up much more NBA experience in game scenes against other players than he has.
Especially in the last three minutes of games separated by a possession, Dončić shoots 17-of-26 from the field, and 6-by-11 from three.
I was able to try to play some of the uptake sports bloggers and say that this surprise does not come as a surprise when you stop considering some of the other late achievements he had this season – his two-minute run buried rockets earlier this year in mind . But look at the other names on that list for Christ's sake! He not only surpasses the other rookies in his class, he is called established superstars and past the MVP during the main period of a game where rookies are often asked to back and let the experienced players handle the pressure. How many teams in the NBA story can honestly say that their best plan for attack in a senate scenario is to give the ball to a 19-year-old and let him go to work? The only possible answers include names that are addressed when discussing the biggest players all the time. The time will tell if he ever reaches that plane for the NBA existence, but at least his most enthusiastic in-depth educator can enjoy the fact that his achievements surpass well over what many thought they would be.