Draymond Green reveals why Luka Doncic is his favorite NBA star not named Stephen Curry
Draymond Green obviously has a bias for the Golden State Warriors. Even if he didn’t, it’s not like the four-time champion would be alone in choosing longtime teammate Stephen Curry as his favorite NBA player to watch. Green is nothing if not a student of the game, after all, and there’s never been another player who manipulates defenses quite like Curry.
The reigning Finals MVP isn’t the only player for whom Green holds a special affinity, though. Who’s his preferred player to watch other than Curry? Luka Doncic, the superstar Dallas Mavericks playmaker who the Green and the Warriors vanquished in the Western Conference Finals.
“My favorite NBA player to watch besides Steph is Luka,” Green said on the latest edition of his eponymous podcast. “Luka different. I mean, the way he sees the floor, scores the basketball, gets to his spot, his pace. It’s Luka for sure.”
Doncic led the Mavericks to a surprise in the Western Conference Finals last season, burnishing his epic early-career playoff resumé with 27 first-half points in Dallas’ Game 7 beatdown of the top-seeded Phoenix Suns. His ran out of gas at times one round later against Golden State, shooting just 41.5% from the floor and 34.0% from beyond the arc.
Shooting struggles related to his ridiculous offensive burden didn’t keep Doncic from putting up monster numbers versus the Warriors, though. He averaged 32.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game in the Conference Finals, production made all the more impressive after Green, Andrew Wiggins and Golden State relentlessly hounded Jayson Tatum into wholesale offensive struggles with a championship on the line.
It’s hardly surprising Green singled out Doncic. The 23-year-old is in many ways a modern-day facsimile of prime LeBron James offensively, controlling games from the outset with his unreal blend of size, court vision and passing talent. Doncic is nowhere near James’ level as an athlete, obviously, but is a much more dangerous off-dribble shooter and compensates for his lack of explosiveness with high-level footwork and keen deceleration ability.
Could Doncic develop into Golden State’s new singular postseason foil, a la James during his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Don’t bet against it. Either way, it’s safe to say Green will be watching him.