A few seconds later, ball ends up with wonder boy Donkic. Despite yet another triple double and 43 pt game evoking memories of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and other Playoff rookie greats, he has been quiet all of the OT period instead giving way to teammate Trey Burke who is on fire.
In the dying seconds of course there is no one else who deserves the ball. After an inbound beside their bench he weaves from the far side of the court to receive it. Reggie Jackson scambles to cover him but it’s too late. Approximately a meter away from the 3pt line he steps back and BANG.
He ends the game with the type of fireworks and celebration we get to see in NBA flashback games, such as when rookie Magic won it with Kareem or Tim Duncan in 98 or any other rookie great who went on to become league greats.
If this is ‘the birth of a star’ it’s very late in the game to say that. In fact just saying how amazing he is feels so passe. He’s a phenom, equal to or potentially even better than the Clipps’ Paul George AND Kawhi Leonard who shared the court with him today.
I know its blasphemous to say so but Luka’s just a little bit different. His ability to score is comparable to Harden’s and his technique is so flawless. It is of course not impossible to guard, and Kawhi had the right idea when they were matched up. I think Donkic’s short game is impossible to guard once he is winding up to take a shot or drive to the basket. So you have to BOTHER his dribble instead way before he decides to shoot. I know that sounds weird but just before he gets to his shot he’s dribbling around preparing, so if I were coaching against him the idea is to get a guy with long arms like Kawhi to keep poking, stabbing and jabbing his arms and hands to try and swipe the ball. Just make it uncomfortable for Luka to even focus on dribbling. I think doing so has the highest percentage of actually forcing him to make a mistake because once he does his Euro or 2 or 3 fakes to the basket your chances of stopping him go to zero.
Naturally that’s easier said than done. Constant picks will work to make sure he gets someone else to guard him and even if Kawhi can he can’t spend the whole game doing just that.
Other notables in this game is the wonderful Lou Williams (18, 3 and 5), who at 6’1 33yo is just amazing to watch today as he was way back when he was competing for playing time with Allen Iverson (he lost). This guy just makes it look so easy and whatever it is they’re paying the 2nd best player on the team should equal what he gets. He is instant offense, lightning quick and a legit star.
Overall this was a fantastic game. There were 12 lead changes and LA actually was ahead 21 at one point after the Mavs came back, capitalizing on better rebounding (14 vs. 4 for LA).
On a personal note, here’s a quick update as to why I had not been writing as much visualized by this picture:
I developed a monster case of arthritis on my left elbow and I woke up one day with my hand 30% larger than it usually is, which would be cute if it didn’t involve so much pain.
Right now I’m writing sans the 4th and pinkie finger of my left hand which is awful but is considerably better than in previous days when I couldn’t even use my index finger for anything. Suffice to say meds and lots and lots of rest has remedied the situation somewhat and a more healthier diet is in serious consideration.
This post has winded me out. I would’ve wanted to write about LAL – POR yesterday, but I’m just wiped right now. I’ll see you all tomorrow.