Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic had an incredible December. The superstar guard played 13 games this past month and led his team to an 8-5 record. He capped the month off with a marvelous performance against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, scoring 39 points, dishing out ten assists, and grabbing eight rebounds, in a 132-122 win for the Mavericks.
Doncic averaged 37.5 points, 11.1 assists, and 8.9 points in his 13 outings in December. With these numbers, the Mavericks superstar created history. As it turns out, he’s only the second player in the history of the NBA to average 35+ points, 10+ assists, and 8+ boards in a single month with at least ten appearances.
Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson was the last player to achieve this feat 63 years ago, during the 1960-61 NBA season, as reporter Grant Afseth recently pointed out. Russell Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in a season four times during his incredible NBA career. But even he hasn’t been able to replicate this incredible feat.
Fans on X(formerly known as Twitter) were in awe of Doncic’s achievement. One user noted, “Luka did something MJ never did.” It’s hard to fathom that the Mavericks superstar achieved a feat that even the great Chicago Bulls legend, arguably the greatest player in NBA history, couldn’t. But it’s true.
However, we have to note here that the modern NBA allows elite players to score in a way that was unthinkable in the 90s. For instance, Dwight Howard recently highlighted how the NBA has tripled the number of players averaging 20 points per game in just a decade. However, that shouldn’t take anything away from Luka’s incredible numbers.
Meanwhile, another user sarcastically wrote, “Let’s drop him to the 6th spot on the MVP ladder.” Despite his incredible performances over the past month, Doncic has dropped from second to fifth in the NBA MVP award ladder. He trails Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the list. All these players have been terrific, but none of them have matched Doncic’s numbers in December.
On the other hand, one fan posed the question, “IS LUKA ALREADY A TOP 100 PLAYER?” Doncic is a four-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA first-team nominee, and also the 2019 Rookie of the Year. He is on track to finish his career as one of the greatest guards to ever play the sport. However, his trophy cabinet dwarfs in comparison to a lot of players. While it’s certainly a topic worth debating, it’s hard to argue that he’s a top 100 player of all time already.
However, it’s a testament to Doncic’s talent and performances that fans are willing to list him among the top 100 players in NBA history after only six seasons in the NBA.
Luka Doncic continues to carry the Mavericks
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks missed the playoffs last season after going 11-19 in their final 30 games of the regular season. The team had hoped for a fresh start with Doncic and this year’s midseason acquisition, Kyrie Irving. However, the former Brooklyn Nets star suffered a heel contusion in the Mavericks’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers in early December, which has sidelined him for the past few games.
Despite Kyrie’s lengthy absence, Doncic has kept the Mavericks afloat. They are sixth in the Western Conference standings with a 19-14 record and are only one game behind the Los Angeles Clippers, who occupy the fourth spot in the standings.
Doncic is averaging a career-high in points and assists, with 33.9 and 9.3, respectively. He only trails reigning two-time scoring champion and league MVP Joel Embiid in the race for the 2023-24 scoring title. The Mavericks superstar is also third on the list of the top assist providers this season behind Indiana Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton (12.8) and Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young (11.2).
Despite Doncic’s jaw-dropping numbers, he is only a dark horse to win the NBA MVP award. The voters have seemingly become numb to his greatness. That’s the only plausible explanation for the lack of buzz surrounding his MVP candidacy.