By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Four games into the EuroLeague regular season and so far it feels like experiencing an extended episode of the Twilight Zone titled “Luka Doncic”.
Doncic is leading all EuroLeague players in scoring by averaging 24 points while being ranked 25th in minutes played, staying on the court for 27:12 each match; a raving 35.28 p.p.g per 40 minutes.
Just last night (27/10), he registered a new career-high 28 points, leading Real Madrid to a blowout victory over Zalgiris Kaunas on the road. He surpassed his previous personal best of 27 which he set in the new season’s premiere vs Anadolu Efes in Istanbul and then tied it two rounds later almost… casually during a historic display against Olimpia Milano, in Madrid.
The Slovenian point-forward also posts a domineering 32.3 PIR per game which is considered a pretty high number for a single match’s performance, let alone a four-game average. At 18 years of age, he’s already the indisputable front-runner for winning MVP not only because he fills nearly all categories of the statistics sheet with ridiculous ease and hoarding numbers simply by existing on the floor but because his output has a sheer game-winning effect for a squad struck by serious and consecutive injury plagues.
Real Madrid‘s results speak for themselves: A 4-0 entrance in EuroLeague (along with an unspoiled record in the Spanish League vs such teams as reigning champs Valencia or Unicaja Malaga), which includes a win over fellow powerhouse and major title contender CSKA Moscow.
All of these are swell, but still, pale in comparison to what is probably the shiniest badge of honor in the wunderkind’s 2017-2018 adventures so far.
Luka Doncic has made Sergio Llull’s (the 2017 EuroLeague MVP) absence look insignificant.
The panic was real among fans of the “Blancos” when Llull, Real’s top scorer (15.7 points ppg) and passer (5.9 assists per game) last season, got injured on August during a prep game of the Spanish national team ahead of the EuroBasket. This guy wasn’t simply the driving force and the gasoline that ran Real Madrid‘s offensive engine at full speed thanks to his rampant motor. Not just the top two-way guard in the league, an incredibly savvy and agile defender, able to handcuff the most dangerous opponent as successfully as nailing crazy shots from the parking lot.
He was the team’s lifeblood.
With Real missing such an inspiring figure and a field marshall of this caliber, Doncic was compelled to become far more proactive on offense. He realized that it was imperative for his team’s well-being to redefine the character of his game and take a stronger, more aggressive action. Not simply initiate scoring by setting his teammates with opportunities like he generously did last season (and still does) but mold into a blitz of his own.
Grab the ball and relentlessly attack the basket. Make buckets like never before.