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Luka Doncic hits Salah Mejri with the bullet assist

Luka Doncic

It’s almost impossible to choose the single attribute that most accounts for Luka Doncic’s success. His rise to stardom this season has been due in large part to an un-guardable step-back jumper that would make any player in the league but James Harden blush. His size as a 6-foot-8 primary ball handlers allows the Dallas Mavericks rare lineup flexibility used to create mismatches, and his ability to start and stop on a dime belies a relative lack of athletic oomph that many assumed might keep him from NBA stardom in the first place.

If there’s one thing that separates Doncic from most other oversized playmakers, though, it’s probably his ability to create, see, and complete passes from all over the floor of which most players can’t even dream. Case in point: This 30-foot bullet pass to Salah Mejri after the Miami Heat trapped him high up the floor during Thursday night’s game.

The degree of difficulty of this dime warrants further examination. First, note how Doncic creates the angle by looking toward the wing before firing the pass. Next, look at the first line of defense he has to get it over, made up of 6-foot-9 James Johnson and seven-footer Hassan Whiteside. Then, think of the speed with which the ball must travel to find a seam between Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade.

Doncic already does stuff like this on a nightly basis. Just imagine once he’s in his prime, and the Mavericks have enough talent around him to exploit his passing gifts to the maximum. Scary.