Through 13 games this season it feels like Luka Doncic has a little injury scare every other game. The most recent scare came against Oklahoma City when Doncic and Paul George knocked knees. Luka would come back in the game a tad later but was ultimately fine.
After that game Doncic said he would be fine after a little treatment. Absorbing contact from opposing defenses has always been a part of Luka’s game and it’s something he embraces.
When asked if taking bumps is routine for him, Doncic laughed and said “yeah I’ve (taken) a lot of knees and it’s part of the game.”
That play reminded me of a clip shown to me by a Slovenian of Doncic taking a tumble into the seats chasing a loose ball with Real Madrid.
Plays like this happened with Doncic fairly frequently in Spain and though they may not happen as much in Dallas, it’s good to know Doncic is sturdy enough to deal with the physicality of the NBA.
Though his huskier shape coming into the league was criticized as a flaw, it might be the thing that keeps him from taking as much damage when he takes tumbles like this. Think of Luka Doncic as the Michelin Man, but not quite as thicc.
This sturdiness and durability has endeared him to coach Carlisle early on in his rookie season. Rick Carlisle praised his ability to play through hard contact after the win over the Thunder last week.
“He’s a tough kid. I believe that he’s gone through his career playing through pain, not necessarily injury, but he’s played hurt,” Carlisle said. “I love the way he shakes things off and gets back out there. It shows a lot of toughness.”
That toughness should let Mavericks fans breathe a little easier the next time Luka Doncic heads back to the bench holding his knee or his elbow knowing his thiccness will soften the blow. Like Doncic said: it’s just part of the game.