After decades in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich knows a thing or two about great players and what makes them great. Luka Doncic, in just his second year with the Dallas Mavericks, is already a great player for the Dallas Mavericks.
Popovich explained why this week.
“I hate to say this, he’s not Magic Johnson but it’s Magic Johnson-like in the sense that he sees the floor in that same way,” the Spurs coach told reporters after Dallas’ 120-98 victory over the visiting Spurs on Thursday. “He’s got a real intuitive sense and you can’t teach that. He’s just got it and he’s great at it.
“I’m not trying to put the Magic Johnson pressure on him, he’s not ready for that yet but he’s doing a hell of a job.”
Magic Johnson suffered a serious knee injury and only played in 37 games in his second NBA season. But he increased his assists from 7.3 to 8.6 per game in the first two years of his legendary career.
As for Doncic, he dished out 6.0 assists as a rookie. That figure now stands at 8.9 per game. His overall stats have impressed NBA observers this season, with impressive all-around improvement on display since the start.