Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks face the defending conference champions Phoenix Suns in the second round. Doncic has elevated his game this season and has already drawn comparisons to the great Michael Jordan with his play. Luka Doncic has proved that he is great in his own right, by surpassing MJ in average points scored in the postseason.
Jordan held the record at 33.4 ppg in the postseason. However, now with 33.5 ppg, Luka Doncic has surpassed Michael Jordan as the leading postseason scorer in the NBA. Achieving this feat in just his third postseason speaks to the tier that Luka plays at.
So is Luka Doncic really as good as Michael Jordan? Here’s an explanation of how he achieved this feat.
Here’s how Luka Doncic could average more points than Michael Jordan
Luka has carried the Dallas Mavericks to a competitive 4th seed in the Western Conference. Despite a slow start to the season, the young star carried his team on his shoulders the whole way. Additionally, Kristaps Porzingas was traded to the Washington Wizards in return for Spencer Dinwiddie.
Porzingas has been the only star-level player that Luka has paired up with within his career. Additionally, Kristaps proved to be injury-prone and did not actively participate in several regular-season games and postseason games. Therefore, Luka was the only real star in the Dallas Mavericks, especially during the postseason.
Michael Jordan played in a different era where the three-pointer and foul calls were very different than they are today. Therefore it is understandable that his playoffs average is 33.4. Additionally, MJ also played with Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and many other star-level players.
Therefore, even Jordan never truly had as much control over every possession as Luka does. Jordan had teammates who made several all-star and all NBA teams. This is simply not the case for Luka Doncic. He has compartively no high-caliber teammate he can rely on completely in the postseason.
Luka Doncic in the loss:
He is now 1st all time in playoff PPG with 33.5. pic.twitter.com/yqsefvxNRa
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 5, 2022
Despite the heroics, Luka has not made it far, alone
This is the reason Luka Doncic is able to average these stats in the postseason. Additionally, he also bears a heavy offensive load. It should also be possible for Giannis to average these stats without Jrue Holiday, Middleton, and other star players. However, these are not an indication of championships or even winning.
Luka is averaging big numbers and showing the NBA world what he is capable of. However, if he is eliminated and losses too many games despite this stat line, it will dampen the effort put into scoring and question whether Luka really has a winning effect on his team.
However, that notion on its own is ridiculous as the team might have missed the whole playoffs, if not for Luka keeping them afloat this season.