By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]
Although Luka Doncic got out of the first round for the first time this year, his playoff numbers were exemplary across the board and the latest surge put his name next to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Doncic logged 45 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in Game 1 against the Suns, becoming the youngest player to put up 45 points, ten rebounds in the playoffs since Kobe Bryant did it back in 2001 against the Spurs.
Bryant was 22 at the time while Doncic is 23 years old. The scoring explosion also increased Luka’s points average in the playoffs to 33.4 per game, tying Michael Jordan as the best scorer in the history of the game. The two are the only players averaging more than 30 points.
Doncic is also alone in one aspect. He now has the most 40-point playoff games by a player 23 or younger after dropping his sixth against Phoenix. Luka’s played 17 playoff games so far in his career.
Despite the big display, Doncic still had some words of criticism for himself while also pointing to defense as the actual reason the Mavs lost.
“We’ve just got to attack more paint. I settled for a little too much step-backs for me. Attacking the paint is our lethal weapon. When we do that, we can score easily, especially with 5-out and they’ve got a big rotating. We’ve got to attack more paint,” he said and added. “I think our defense lost us the game today. Our start on the defensive end was terrible, and we’ve got to change that. I know we can play way better defense.”
Coach Jason Kidd was happy with Doncic but belives the rest of the lineup has to join in.
“He got whatever he wanted, when you look at the shots in the paint, behind the arc, midrange, and then also I thought he got his teammates some great looks that we normally had made. I thought he played great. We’ve just got to get someone to join the party.”
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