Dallas Mavericks’ third pick of the 2018 draft has once again brought championship ambitions for the franchise. In his four seasons with the Mavericks, Doncic has made the playoffs three times and came very close to making the NBA Finals last season.
Luka Doncic was efficient in the playoffs, averaging 31.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in 15 games. However, they crashed out against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
Coming that close and making it to the final stage has supposedly had a motivating effect on the Slovenian – given the work he’s putting in over the summer.
Former NBA player Jalen Rose and ESPN analyst David Jacoby maintain a list called “Best Shape of My Life” which features Doncic. Jalen Rose, in anticipation of Luka Doncic’s next season, said:
“Luka being in the best shape of his life is going to be a game changer, not only for the Mavs, but for the NBA. I predicted, when athletes start to realize, that everything I put into this temple [body] affects how I perform, now all of a sudden you start to look at life; you start to look at your diet differently.
“Now Luka, is gonna be training. You see videos of him actually training now. So, based on that – do not be surprised if he balls the way he balled last year, in the playoffs in particular.”
Luka Doncic elevated his performance last season and was brought up multiple times in MVP discussions as well. His skill with the ball, ability to dictate pace, and vision on the court; sets him apart. The fact that he’s able to do all this at such a high-level in his fourth year leaves fans and analysts wondering what his ceiling is.
Jalen Rose went on to pick his MVP for the upcoming season, as he said:
“He’s in pole position for me. I don’t know what Vegas says, but I’m gonna be Nostradamus here. Luka winning MVP this year.”
Jalen Rose implored Luka Doncic to average a triple-double in the 2022-23 campaign
The Dallas Mavericks are a team that functions with Luka Doncic as its centerpiece, and that speaks a lot about his capabilities.
Last season, the coaching staff had to figure out a couple of options apart from Doncic to carry the load, given his injury troubles.
Jalen Brunson rose to the challenge and even complemented Doncic on his return. However, it is now back to being Luka Doncic’s team, which means a lot more responsibility.
Amidst the changes the franchise has undergone over the summer, Jalen Rose displayed his undying confidence in Luka Doncic, as he said:
“You know what, Luka could average a triple-double this season if he wanted to.
“I need Luka to average a triple-double and win MVP this year. You could drop a couple of points, add a couple of boards. Luka MVP – averages a triple-double, I’m putting it out there.”
Although it’s a bit too early to make such predictions, Luka Doncic has often shown the capability to do so. Even in the 2021-22 campaign, his regular-season averages were close to a triple-double – with 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists.
It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds for Doncic after a hardworking summer.
Q. Will Luka Doncic be named the 2022-23 MVP?