What Luka Doncic is doing in the playoffs is special. The 22-year-old Slovenian star of the Dallas Mavericks is putting on a show for the ages—delighting crowds for the first time in his young career.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Doncic’s playoff performances to date, including last season, is the effortlessness of it all. It’s a veritable ballet of basketball and Doncic studied at the Bolshoi. Not only is what he’s doing aesthetically enjoyable, it’s historic.
Setting a personal career playoff scoring high with 44 points against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3, Doncic joined some rarified company. Through nine total playoff games, he has scored 300 points. Only two other players in NBA history have reached the 300-point milestone through nine games. Both Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Michael Jordan did it in their first nine playoff appearances. Each scored 325.
Luka Doncic has recorded 300 points through his first 9 career playoff games. The only other players with at least 300 points scored in their first 9 NBA Playoff games are Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (325 points each). pic.twitter.com/055BQGWhHt— NBA History (@NBAHistory) May 29, 2021
Unfortunately for the Clippers, they have had front row seats to watch Doncic’s mastery on display. Through three postseason games this year, he’s leading all playoff scoring, averaging 38 points per game. It’s not like he’s straining to score either. He’s shooting 51.9 percent overall and 45.9 percent on three-pointers. Doncic is also averaging 8.7 rebounds and nine assists.
To put that in perspective, in Doncic’s first playoff action last season—in the bubble—he averaged 31 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor and just 36.4 percent from deep. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, but the improvement from one season to the next is almost remarkable.
- Game 1: 42 pts.
- Game 2: 28 pts.
- Game 3: 13 pts.
- Game 4: 43 pts.
- Game 5: 22 pts.
- Game 6: 38 pts.
- Game 1: 31 pts.
- Game 2: 39 pts.
- Game 3: 44 pts.
Even though the Clippers made things more difficult for the Mavericks in Game 3 Friday night, Doncic was still in his bag. He hit step backs, made jumpers, drove the lane, and bullied his way through defenders for much of the night. He opened the game with a flurry and kept Dallas close as L.A. took the lead.
It’s simply hard to describe Doncic’s play without using superlatives that lean on the cusp of cliché. He’s just that good. So at least when watching him now, there one descriptor that neatly sums up everything he’s doing: historic.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”,click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.