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Draymond Green on comparing Luka Doncic to LeBron James

Luka Doncic, LeBron James
Photo: Dallas Mavericks/Twitter

Luka Doncic just had another great regular season as he averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 35.4 minutes per game.

He has stepped up even more during the playoffs. The Slovenian superstar is averaging 30.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 36 minutes over 11 playoff games. And that is after a disappointing 20-point game by his standards.

His performances made people compare the 23-year-old point guard to LeBron James. Three-time NBA champion Draymond Green weighed in on the topic in a recent episode of his podcast.

“One of the main glaring similarities that stick out at you is how those two guys can manipulate the defense, how those two guys can control the pace of a game,” Green said. “At their size with their passing ability and the way they can put pressure on the rim and pressure on the defense and with the vision that they have they’re a lot alike.

“They both understand what they’re trying to get to on the court. And they will be very methodical in getting to whatever it is that they know that they want to get to. There’s not many people in this league that can control a game or control the tempo and a pace of a game like that.

“I think one of the things that it requires is an uncanny ability for thinking the game of basketball. This may sound a little cliche, but it also requires size. And the reason it requires size because if you can be sped up, you can’t control a game. You can’t control the pace of a game if you can be sped up.

“You can’t speed Luka up. Luka is going to get to what he wants to get to You can’t speed LeBron James up. LeBron James is going to get to exactly what he wants to get to.

“Luka’s 23, obviously he can’t do it at the level that LeBron does it at yet as consistent as LeBron because LeBron has done it for so long. He’s seen every defense possible. You just can’t teach experience. But Luka has that thing. He 100 percent has that think. And he does it often. So, I definitely see the similarities there.”

When it comes to differences, the Warriors forward pointed at James’ preference to play in transition, while Luka plays that less and also plays at a slower speed.

“Where I think they differ is Bron will take more transition opportunities where Luka kind of doesn’t unless it’s just a complete run up,” Green continued. “And I think that’s where they differ a little bit. Some games LeBron is totally looking to play in transition.

“Luka isn’t quite looking to play in transition as much over the course of his career. Now, I’ve seen it at times where he sees a team that he can take advantage of in transition he gets going in transition.

“But that’s not his game because it doesn’t allow him to play at the speed that he plays at and he’s better at that speed than any other speed. He’s mater playing at the place that he wants to play at and not being sped up.”

According to Green, Doncic is also slightly more focused on creating his own shot than passing as opposed to LeBron who is looking for a pass a little more often.

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