Monday night, one of Dallas sports' biggest-ever sure things turned out to be a sure thing. Luka Doncic, the Mavericks' preternaturally talented 20-year-old forward, picked up the NBA's Rookie of the Year Award, putting a bow on what was a rookie season for the ages.
As Doncic officially starts down the path to his second year in the league, let's celebrate some of his best moments.
1. This shot against the Trail Blazers:
The great @coopmavs radio call of the Luka Doncic game tying 3 pointer to send the game to overtime vs Portland. Chuck Cooperstein is one of the best in the business. And so is @luka7doncic #lukadoncic #halleluka #mavs pic.twitter.com/m4TIjJ910E— Jackson (@DallasMavs1980) December 24, 2018
The Mavs lost in overtime, but holy cow.
2. Doncic beats the Rockets (almost) by himself: Down eight with less than three minutes to play on Dec. 8, the Mavericks looked done against the Rockets. Then Doncic scored 11 unanswered points, leading his team to one of their best wins of the year.
3. This dunk against the Nuggets:
LUKA THROWS IT DOWN WITH 5.8 SECONDS LEFT! pic.twitter.com/FhGOPULetO— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) March 15, 2019
Again, the Mavericks ended up losing this game, but Doncic showed repeatedly as a rookie that he's the guy you want with the ball in big spots.
4. The first triple-double: Five times in NBA history, a teenager has put up a triple-double. Four of those times, starting with his 18-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist effort against the Bucks on Jan. 21, Doncic was the culprit.
5. Circus shot at the Garden: Doncic didn't disappoint in his first game at basketball's mecca, Madison Square Garden. With the Mavs up and shot clock winding down midway through the third quarter, Doncic took a pass and sent up a one-handed 3-pointer. Like so many shots for the young Slovenian this year, it went in.
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6. Hanging 35 on the champs: In late January, Doncic set a new career high for points, putting up a smooth 35, along with 12 rebounds and 10 assists, against the eventual champion Raptors.
7. Announcing himself to one of the greatest of all time: While Doncic is definitely a better offensive than defensive player, he showed off great instincts against LeBron James and the Lakers in late November, stuffing James twice at the rim.
Luka Doncic denied LeBron at the rim TWICE pic.twitter.com/M8GfwDJ7JN— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 1, 2018