There aren’t enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe the play of Luka Doncic. The Dallas Mavericks’ 20-year-old Slovenian star continues to impress and break records as the first full month of the NBA season draws to a close. Not only has Doncic rightfully earned a place in the early MVP discussion, he spent the month of November doing what only two other players in NBA history have ever done and closed it out with a bang.
Friday night, Doncic and the Mavericks were on the road in Phoenix playing the rejuvenated Suns. As Dallas’ lead wavered and fell in the second half, Doncic rose to the occasion, as he has done so many times already, to fuel a comeback and notch the team’s 12 win of the season. Doncic’s box score was once again eye-popping. He tied a career high with 42 points on 50% shooting while also totaling nine rebounds and 11 assists. His stat line helped put him in rare company.
In November, Doncic averaged a 30-point triple-double with 32.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game. In doing so, he becomes just the third player to ever accomplish the feat in any calendar month. Oscar Robertson achieved it five times during his career and Russell Westbrook has done it twice. Not only is Doncic carving out a place in the NBA’s record books, he’s climbing the rankings in the Mavericks’ books as well.
Doncic already has three games this season, including Friday’s, where he’s scored 40 points and dished 10 assists. That ties the team record for the most 30-point, 10-assist games in a single season by any other Mavs player. He’s just casually skunking that mark by 10 points. What’s more, he already has 10 games this season with at least 20 points and 10 assists. He had nine all last season.
If he continues his current trajectory, Doncic will pass two Dallas legends when it comes to 20-point, 10-assist games. Jason Kidd currently holds the franchise record, tallying 14 such games in 1996. Steve Nash is a close second. He reached that mark 12 times during the 2001-02 season. It took just 18 games for Doncic to hit that mark 10 times.
The NBA won’t announce the players of the month for at least another day or two. For his efforts in November, one must imagine that Doncic is in the running to win it for the Western Conference. He deserves the consideration at the very least.
What Doncic is doing in his second season is truly remarkable. Every game, week and month seems to see him mentioned in the same breath as an NBA legend. He modestly takes it all in stride, but it’s apparent that once he’s on the court, he’s determined to be the best player out there. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Doncic’s game is that this is just the beginning. He still has plenty of room to grow. As he does, be sure to alert the record books.