Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni thinks James Harden, Mavs star Luka Doncic ‘are the same way’
Texas has two talented players suiting up for its cities in Luka Doncic and James Harden. To make this factoid more interesting, the stars of the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets play eerily similar styles of basketball.
Fans noted how similar the two have been playing. Ahead of the Mavs’ game at Toyota Center, head coach Mike D’Antoni affirmed those observations himself. In fact, he even went as far to say that Luka and James virtually play the same.
“That means he will take you at his pace, (so) he’s going around you at his speed,” D’Antoni said of Doncic, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “He’s not going to be out of control. He’ll get (to) you and lull you. He’s so strong. James and Doncic are the same way. They can just play at their speed (like) Steve Nash. Special players, they play at their speed, whatever that is.”
Doncic and Harden post similar numbers and play very similar games. Both have deadly stepback 3-point shots as their weapon of choice, and their confidence as closers are both at sky-high levels.
D’Antoni highlighted how special the two are, and that what they possess to become X-factors for their teams is difficult to explain.
“They’re just special players,” D’Antoni furthered. “Very honestly, it’s hard to explain. It’s hard to explain something special. (It’s a) talent. Why is the best actor the way he is? It’s a talent. It’s an X-factor you can’t explain. You can’t coach it. Some people have it; some don’t. James, Doncic, those guys have it.”
Sunday’s game will be the first in what will be an entertaining intra-state rivalry between the Mavs and Rockets. Doncic and Harden are expected will to bring their A-game, and team who gets the first W will have the bragging rights until the next one.