The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 129-125 in overtime. Luka Doncic had a ridiculous stat line by even his lofty standards. He had 41 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists and three steals. He was 14-of-28 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free throw line. He even chipped in a dunk. But his play of the night was without question a behind the head pass he made to Maxi Kleber.
That pass is something you would only ever see at the absolute highest or lowest level of basketball. A child throwing the ball over the back of their head would be fitting in a “Little Dribblers” game. The only difference is it would sail into the crowd and the child would do it because they had no idea what else to do.
Doncic did this meaningfully and purposefully to get Kleber an easy bucket. Kleber should be commended for catching it, as it could have easily caught him off guard and been another wasted pass for the Mavericks this season. He did catch it though and finished the easy layup, preserving one of the coolest passes I have ever seen.(Highlight passes cannot be immortalized if they aren’t finished by the recipient.
This play will likely not be immortalized because of just how special Doncic is. This is one of the most interesting passes I have seen but it might be Doncic’s third best pass this season in four games. It reminds me of a line from the movie Street Fighter.
Doncic is not an evil mastermind from a video game franchise, but for his opponent’s he might as well be. This pass from Doncic to Kleber might be the most impressive pass the Nets will see, but for Doncic this was just another assist on a Thursday night.