Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki’s bold declaration about Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis in playoffs
Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki has long been impressed with Mavs stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, so he’s not surprised by their strong play ahead of their first postseason action as teammates.
The Los Angeles Clippers will undoubtedly pose a steep challenge for the Mavs, but Nowitzki is confident that Dallas’ stars are “both ready for it” when the teams face off:
“I got to play with Luka for a year, and I’ve always said that from the first practice, which was more like a scrimmage, that this kid is built different,” Nowitzki told Marc Stein of The New York Times. “The passes and the way he read the game already, I was super, super impressed.”
In addition to hailing Doncic’s otherworldly talent, Nowitzki praised his seamless transition from European competition to NBA basketball:
“I thought he would have a little more trouble adjusting to the size and the speed of the N.B.A. game, but he’s had zero problems,” Nowitzki said.
In 2018, at the age of 18, Doncic led Real Madrid to the EuroLeague championship, winning league MVP and Final Four MVP along the way. Two years into his NBA career with the Mavs, Doncic has already blossomed into an MVP candidate and one of the league’s brightest superstars.
Nowitzki also pointed out the effectiveness of playing Porzingis at center:
“K.P., playing at the five now, that’s a tough, tough matchup for any team because they have to try to step out and guard him,” N0witzki said. “The way this game is going, it’s so wide open on both ends. There’s shooters everywhere. There’s always lanes to drive.”
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle will surely continue to implement this strategy.
Nowitzki opined that despite the fact that “the game will slow down a little bit in the playoffs,” he doesn’t believe “it’s anything those two can’t handle.”