Mavs’ Luka Doncic doesn’t care about MVP race, only wants to focus on playoffs
Luka Doncic was an enigma before he even played his first NBA game.
He entered the league as a teenager and Euroleague MVP, and they hype around his rising star at last year’s draft was matched only by the questions as to how his game would translate to the NBA.
Doncic answered those questions by showing a flair for dramatic and proving himself as an elite scorer in the fourth quarter en route to winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
As it turns out, last year was merely an appetizer.
Doncic is emerging as an early MVP candidate, posting averages of 28.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists to go along with a 29.8 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and a 1.1 Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) value, both in the top three in the league. The 20-year-old has also led the Dallas Mavericks to a 6-4 record.
Although he is garnering recognition as one of the best players in the league, Doncic is more invested in the end goal for his team:
Luka doesn't think he's an MVP candidate. And he has bigger team goals ahead of an individual goals. "There’s a lot of great players, amazing players," Luka said. "I don’t care about (the MVP award). Obviously it's nice to get it, but I want to get in the playoffs really bad." pic.twitter.com/U2LpmhgtSf
— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) November 13, 2019
The Mavs were pegged to be more of a sleeper in a loaded Western Conference. However, the landscape of the league is drastically different than it was during the preseason.
Golden State is suffering from a myriad of injuries while teams like the Trail Blazers and Pelicans have vastly underperformed. This has opened up the door for teams like the Timberwolves, Suns and Mavs to pick up a few games on their competitors while trying to hang in there for a playoff spot.
As good as Doncic has been, he could use some support from his teammates. Kristaps Porzingis has been inefficient in his return from injury, and Dallas’ bench is totally uninspiring in the early goings.