LOS ANGELES — Before tipoff, Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers said of Dallas’ Luka Doncic, “I haven’t ever wanted to watch a rookie play more than him.”
After the game, after Doncic dropped 32 on the Clippers, Rivers said “I’m sick of him” with a laugh.
The last thing the NBA world needs is another story fawning over the Serbian rookie, but watching him play in person he is impressive. He already plays the pick-and-roll like a seven-year veteran, using S-dribbles and keeping the defender on his back while surveying the situation, he’s a good passer, he’s physical, he has a great floater for when he drives the lane and bigs cut him off, and his stepback three is already maybe the second best in the NBA (James Harden is still the gold standard).
There are flaws. At the top of the list, his defense needs work. And he still makes some rookie mistakes.
I’m not sure what the ceiling is for Doncic, but at 19 he dropped 32 in an NBA game and we need to remember what we’re seeing now is the floor.