Doncic, year 2: a star is born in Dallas and it's not fleeting

The Slovenian says goodbye to his second season once again exceeding expectations and installed in the elite of the NBA. In Dallas they rub their hands.


"My goal whenever I'm going to start a season is to win the championship. There's no other goal, so that's going to be mine." It was the words of Luka Doncic shortly after being eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first playoffs of his career. The result was as expected, as the Mavericks faced an opponent with obvious superiority, but the process was surprising. The Mavs tied the tie twice, playing every day with expected casualties (Powell, Brunson) and last minute (Porzingis, Doncic missing enough minutes in the second and third games), and leading the Clippers to use much more than normal for a first-round contender.

What grade can we put on the Texan season? Remarkable. They reached a playoffs that were set as a goal and have performed above their chances in them. And what grade would Doncic receive? Since they say that perfection does not exist, we will leave it at 9.5. He played his first all star, he won one of the player of the month awards, it is yet to be determined if he will be the most improved player of the season and to see where he ends up in the MVP ranking (it seems that between 4 and 6). All this with 21 years. In the bubble he has improved in all aspects of the game, being chosen in the best starting quintet (it is more than likely that he is also in the best of the year) and signing a series against the Clippers that can only be defined as historical. 31 points, 9.8 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 50% from the field, 36.4% from triples, more points in a debut game in the playoffs, two triples-doubles in the series, third player in history to sign a 40 + 15 + 10, second to achieve more than 40 points in two of his first four games (along with one Wilt Chamberlain), and a winning tirple that is already part of the history of the playoffs for the title and of his own, no matter how much it gives of himself in the future. Because he is already the youngest player ever to hit a winning basket over the horn.

All these data and records, and those that are missing, reflect the dimension of what the Slovenian has done, who, however, does not plan to rest on his laurels. "There are many things to improve. You cannot work on just one thing, you have to do everything. But I am going to make an effort especially in shooting, there is my key," he said after the match. Even if he did not improve more in his entire career in any aspect of the game, he would already be one of the best players in the league. However, it is to be expected that he does manage to increase his benefits, even if it is minimally, for the simple fact that he is 21 years old and there are things such as decision-making (in which he is not lame precisely) in which he usually wins with the passing of the seasons. So what should Doncic and the Mavs' goal be for next year?Signings, injuries and opponents

As this is not a mathematical science the fact that the Mavs are in ascending progression does not mean that the next course will be better than this. That depends on many factors. What you can control (the development of the template) and what you cannot (injuries, level of rivals). You have to remember that two playoff regulars in the West, Warriors and Blazers, have been well below their usual regular league performance due to injuries. Therefore, if they do a season similar to this, they would not be exactly left over to reach the playoffs. In terms of injuries, Kristaps Porzingis's knees should be of particular concern. The Latvian has missed the last three games of the series due to a tear in the meniscus in his right knee, which had not stopped him for more than a year. Although the franchise says that this injury is not serious, the Latvian's record raises doubts. And the Mavs have put a good chunk of their money on him as the team's second sword (and when he's been healthy he's shown he can play that role to perfection) and physical issues could put the project down.

As for what does depend on them, a little in quotes, are the signings they make in free agency. Dallas has proven to be a tremendously effective team in attack, to the point of achieving the best offensive rating in history (116.7 points). The idea of surrounding Doncic with shooters, giving the Slovenian the ball and having him decide whether to shoot or pass, as required by the play, has proven to be a success. And although teammates did not always respond, this first round against the Clippers is going to help a group that is still generally young to grow mentally. But if in attack they are a greased machine, in defense they have a lot of room for improvement. They are half down in defensive rating (18th) and it may be that way where they should focus their efforts on dispatches. Although in the long run the goal is to achieve a third star with whom they can really fight for a ring, it seems sensible to think that the moment will be 2021, with an agency full of stars that can look at Dallas with different eyes, a market that usually does not attracts the great players but now with Doncic change, and not spend all the bullets this year.

Actually the most difficult they already have. A player who is in the top ten in the league (at least), one of the best coaches in the competition, a high-level second star (praying that injuries are respected) and enough salary space to fight for the fish fat. Now you just need to make the right decisions, a little luck and patience. Not surprisingly, Doncic has two years left on his contract and four more will be added when the Mavs safely execute the extension of their rookie contract. With a player who is the first to average more than 30 points in the playoffs in his second year in the league since Michael Jordan and the first in history with averages above 30 + 8 + 8 in his debut in the postseason only To think that the future will be bright In Dallas they know it and that is why their hands are strengthened. Because they know they have a chosen one.

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