MVP PERFORMANCE FOR LUKA: Luka Doncic exploded yet again on Monday night, dropping 42 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists against the Spurs, including this huge shot to seal the victory for Dallas. At 20 years and 263 days old, he’s the youngest player to ever post a 42-point triple-double, surpassing LeBron James, the previous owner of the record, who did it when he was already 21.
On the year, Doncic is now averaging 29.5 points (fifth overall league-wide), 10.7 rebounds (12th league-wide) and 9.3 assists (second league-wide) per game. He’s the only player this season posting a 29/10/9 stat line, and he’s doing it as a 20-year-old, which is just unfathomable.
🏦 Oh, and he’s currently just the 160th-highest paid player in the league, making Doncic by far the best value contract in the league. Like the NFL strategy of drafting an elite quarterback and spending on filling out the rest of the roster, the Mavericks have a great chance to build a sustainable winner over the next couple of seasons, before Doncic gets his max extension.
Then again, even when the Slovenian superstar is earning a max salary, he’ll still be worth every penny, so the Mavericks are set as long as they have Doncic leading the way.
LEBRON-AD CONNECTION: LeBron James is passing the ball to Anthony Davis more often than any other past teammate, including Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving and Chris Bosh.
NEW POD: Alex Kennedy is joined by The Rookie Wire’s Cody Taylor to evaluate the top first-year players in the league this season.
LOVE HAPPY IN CLEVELAND: Cavs big man Kevin Love has heard the trade chatter, but he’s staying loyal to the Cavaliers… for now.
VETERAN WAIVED: The Rockets announced on Monday that they were waiving veteran big man Ryan Anderson. He hasn’t been effective in a few years now, so this might be it for him.
MORE MISSED TIME: Kawhi Leonard missed his third game in a row last night due to a left knee contusion.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: Two noteworthy streaks continued in the NBA last night – one good and one bad.
🚀 As far as the good one: The Rockets won their eighth game in a row, obliterating the struggling Blazers 132-109 behind a 36-point effort from James Harden. Harden’s been so insanely productive as a scorer this season that dropping merely 36 points actually brought his scoring average down from 39.5 points per game to 39.2.
😳 And now for the bad: The Spurs dropped their sixth game in a row, falling to Dallas 117-110. That losing streak matches their longest since Gregg Popovich’s first full season as head coach, all the way back in… 1997-98. It’s starting to look more and more like this could be the first season San Antonio misses the playoffs since 1996-97.
NEW LEVEL UNLOCKED: Coming into this season, Jimmy Butler had never averaged more than 5.5 assists. This year, he’s at 7.2 with an impressive 31.8 percent assist rate. His teammate and head coach discuss his new playmaking chops.
NO RINGS FOR YOU: The Raptors won’t be giving any of the players they traded mid-season last year – Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright or CJ Miles – championship rings. Mind you, Drake did get a championship ring from Toronto. So did one of their super fans. Not the best look.
WINGS WHO BOARD: The Ringer theorizes that the next great market inefficiency in the NBA will be wings who rebound the ball well.
LOAD MANAGEMENT, CONTINUED: There are more ways to load manage a player besides making them sit out games; the Thunder are leaders in this field.
MALICE REVISITED: The Athletic interviewed former NBA commissioner David Stern to relive Malice in the Palace, with a focus on all of the events that followed it.
GAME, BLOUSES: Dave Chapelle showed up at Lakers practice yesterday. That is a thing that happened.
SUPERMAN’S HOME FOR SALE: Shaq is selling his 5200-square foot home for $2.5 million.
Z-BO ON A FAR AND DISTANT LAND: Zach Randolph, now a part owner of a team in the NBL, gives his thoughts on Australia.
NEW TNT SIDELINE REPORTER: Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes will be TNT’s new sideline reporter on Tuesday nights.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
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