Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) Luka Doncic is putting up at age 20 statistics we haven’t seen since LeBron. In his second season in the NBA, at age 20, LeBron James had a season for the ages: 27.2 points per game, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists a night, and a PER of 25.7, all on his way to making his first All-Star game and, at season’s end, All-NBA (second team).
Luka Doncic has been better than that in his second season at age 20.
Doncic is averaging 30.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 9.8 assists a night, and with a PER of 33.3 (and a ridiculously efficient 63.2 true shooting percentage). The awards will undoubtedly follow if Doncic stays healthy.
Doncic has a long, long way to go to ultimately be in LeBron’s stratosphere (particularly because of LeBron’s defensive impacts), but he is literally nearly the only statistical comparison at this young age. Kevin Durant was at 25.3 points per game at age 20, Shaquille O’Neal 23.4, and Kyrie Irving at 22.5, just to round out the top five in points scored per game at age 20. That is some serious company Doncic is keeping.
Just ask James Harden — Doncic outdueled him on Sunday, dropping 41 points in a 137-123 Dallas win (Harden did have 32 points).
Doncic’s numbers this season are mind-boggling.
In that stunning second season of his, LeBron James finished sixth in the MVP voting. It’s too early to say for sure, but keep this up and Doncic is going to beat that finish, too (and, 15 years later, it’s amazingly LeBron who might be the early frontrunner for that award).
2) Joe Harris executes Spencer Dinwiddie’s play to seal Nets win against Knicks. It was a rough day for at home for New York, losing to that team from just across the bridge in Brooklyn, which was without its star player in Kyrie Irving (shoulder impingement). Plus, on the Nets broadcast, former player Richard Jefferson added insult to injury.
In the game itself, the Knicks were scrambling to make a comeback in the final minute, and after a Julius Randle putback the Knicks were down two, 103-101, but with just 0.4 seconds left. The Nets were inbounding the ball and the Knicks only prayer was to steal the inbound and instantly hit a shot from beyond halfcourt. In the timeout before the Nets inbounded the ball, Spencer Dinwiddie was animated talking to the coaching staff and players about some idea he had. Then Joe Harris executed it to perfection.
A little salt in the wound of the Knicks loss.
The win is the third in a row for Brooklyn, which improves to 8-8 on the season.
3) Kawhi Leonard notches another 20-point game, but Lou Williams‘ imitation of him was the best part of the night. The Los Angeles Clippers are now 3-0 since pairing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, having little trouble with visiting New Orleans on Sunday night in a 134-109 win.
Montrezl Harrell was a beast with 34 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Kawhi Leonard was his usual self with 26 points.
However, the best part of the night came before tip-off. Lou Williams came out to address the crowd and wish them a happy Thanksgiving, and to start it off he did his “hey, hey, hey” Leonard impersonation.
Well played, Lou.