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Doc Rivers on Luka Doncic "He's very similar to LeBron James."

Doc Rivers & LeBron James & Luka Doncic

After the game, Philadelphia Head Coach Doc Rivers had some high praise for the basketball prodigy from Slovenia

The Philadelphia 76ers recently dropped the ball on a very winnable game on the road against the ailing Dallas Mavericks. Dallas has been up-and-down over the past few weeks after a strong performance in December. The Mavericks were missing three critical guys in Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber, who was a late scratch moments before tip-off on Friday.

He is similar to LeBron

To make up for the key absences, Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic put together an incredible performance with 33 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists to lead his team to victory over the dominant Joel Embiid and the Sixers. After the game, Philadelphia Head Coach Doc Rivers had some high praise for the basketball prodigy from Slovenia, comparing him to a familiar foe of Rivers' from the 2010s.

"He's very similar to LeBron (James). He's such a great passer, and he just holds the ball at the last minute. He was toying with some of the blitzes. So he's not a guy that I actually love blitzing, but I do think it's good at times." - Doc Rivers.

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For great all-around players like Doncic, executing defensive coverages effectively is easier said than done. Normally, one would like to take the ball out of Luka's hands to neutralize his scoring ability. However, since Doncic has been a star since his teen years, he has seen all sorts of defensive coverages and can be effective against all schemes on that side of the ball. At 6'8, Doncic can see over traps or blitzes off the pick and roll, willing to make the perfect pass to set his teammates up for success.

Kidd can help Luka in further development

Doc compares Luka to LeBron James in that aspect, praising his ability to manipulate defensive schemes to create offense for his teammates. It's an honor to be compared to arguably the game's greatest player. For Doncic, this is even more special as Luka idolized LeBron growing up while playing basketball in Ljubljana and all over Europe.

Like LeBron, Luka possesses all the basketball talent and wisdom in the world. Also, like LeBron, Luka still needs to continue to grow in terms of his leadership and learning how to win in the NBA. The Mavericks are a good team, but Luka's leadership is the key ingredient that Dallas is waiting on for them to ascend to championship contender status.

Accelerating Luka's maturation process is one of the main objectives for Mavericks Head Coach Jason Kidd. So far, Kidd has done the necessary work to make this his top priority, challenging Luka to complain to the officials less and get Kristaps Porzingis more involved in the offense. Luka has all the potential to reach the level of the game's greatest such as LeBron James and Michael Jordan, and the scary part is that offensively, he can do things that both LeBron and MJ could not do. Will Luka end up fulfilling his dreams of greatness? Only time will tell, but I'm sure we can all agree that he is off to a great start.

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