I am receiving inquiries as to whether I have upgraded my view of Luka, as his last series against Minnesota was masterful, above say the Larry Bird level.

For a while I have thought he has the potential to become a generational, “best in the NBA” (or second best?) quality player.  But he has not been, either.  Let us hope the regime has shifted.

But do keep in mind, eleven days ago ESPN ran an article ranking him as the 5th best player in the playoffs through the first two rounds.  At the time no one took umbrage at that accurate assessment.  Of course that is still very, very good, but not the Luka we have seen as of late.  So we’ll see which Luka we get moving forward.  Top players do make major upgrades in their games as they move forward, but we also need to tone down the recency bias here.  Pre-playoffs he was rated at #2, implying that his performance for the first two rounds was a bit of a disappointment.

In the playoffs more generally:

…Doncic’s production (28.3 points and 9.1 assists per game) and efficiency (49.7% effective field goal percentage) has dipped significantly from his historic regular-season numbers (league-high 33.9 points, 9.8 assists, 57.3% effective field goal percentage).

Of course part of that is exactly the good news as well.  Luka reduced his usage rate from 40.3% in the playoffs two years ago (he missed the playoffs last year) to 32.1% this year, a too-high usage rate having been his biggest shortcoming.  And the other Mavericks truly have stepped up to fill the gap.  Remember when ESPN marked the Kyrie Irving trade a “D”?

By the way, no need to use injuries as an “excuse” — they are common amongst high-usage players, and they count as “quality” every bit as much as healthy performance on the court.

The post What to think of Luka? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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