Luka Doncic, after a night off during the Dallas Mavericks’ Saturday night drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, was back to his usual superstar exploits on Monday night. Doncic tallied 38 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists to lead the Mavs to a 121-114 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. As is usually the case, it takes one to know one, and it’s no surprise that Doncic recognizes greatness when he sees it, particularly in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Now in their fifth season in the league, both Doncic and SGA have taken their games to new heights. Gilgeous-Alexander, in particular, has been crushing it even if the Thunder remain one of the worst teams in the NBA. On Monday, SGA had yet another monstrous scoring effort, this time a 42-point eruption on 14-23 shooting from the field and a perfect 13-13 from the foul line.
And Luka Doncic, being the great competitor that he is, had nothing but kind words for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander after their exciting battle.
“He’s a complete player. He’s unbelievable at drawing fouls, just playing at his own pace. He’s really amazing to watch this whole season and before. He’s beautiful to watch,” Doncic said, per Tim McMahon.
If there’s someone who knows the secret sauce to drawing fouls and playing at one’s own pace, it’s Doncic, so such praise is especially lofty coming from him. Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander rank second and third, respectively, in foul shots attempted per game, with SGA leading the league in makes with an absurd 9.4 per game, both proving to be incredible scorers from everywhere on the court even when the game slows down.
On the season, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists, making a leap into surefire All-Star status. He is only 24 years old, which means that he still has considerable room for improvement. And in the process, he may just give Luka Doncic another 2018 draft peer worthy of being compared to him side-by-side.