When the Golden State Warriors squeaked past the Dallas Mavericks 120-116 on Saturday night, three MVPs took the floor: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Dirk Nowitzki. In addition to that trio of legends, five All-Stars laced up their sneakers: Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, DeAndre Jordan, and Devin Harris.
And yet, despite the high number of stars past and present, the player who opened eyes the most was someone else: Luka Dončić.
The third-overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft once again impressed, scoring 19 points and dishing out 5 assists before leaving the game with a thigh contusion. It was just another game in a brilliant rookie season for the 19-year old EuroLeague MVP, who is running away with the Rookie of the Year trophy thanks to 18.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game on above-average efficiency.
After the game, the Warriors expressed just how impressed they were with the new face of the Mavericks franchise. Draymond Green, in particular, was effusive in his praise.
Draymond Green on Luka Doncic: “That dude good...he gonna be a problem...He’s lifted that franchise.” pic.twitter.com/Dfc5DG0TD0— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 23, 2018
“That dude good. He got it,” Green remarked during his post-game press conference. “He gonna be a problem - he already a problem. He gonna be really good for a long time. You kind of had the questions like, ‘Oh, can he do that in the NBA like he’s doing in EuroLeague?’ - he can. He’s exciting to watch. He’ll be good for a long time; he’s kind of lifted their franchise.”
High praise from someone as accomplished as Green. But as Dončić proved on Saturday, the praise is warranted.