The whole NBA world is in awe of Luka Dončić's Game 4 performance against the Clippers to tie the series at two games apiece.
The second-year star played through an ankle injury and still managed to hit a jaw-dropping buzzer-beating three to lead the Mavericks to a 135-133 overtime victory. Dončić notched a second straight-triple double, helping the Mavs overcome a 21-point first-half deficit, with his second fiddle Kristaps Porzingis sitting out with a sore right knee.
Luka finished the game with 43 points, 17 rebounds, and 13 assists in nearly 46 minutes of action, becoming the youngest player in NBA Playoffs history to post a 40-point triple-double. He joined Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson as only the 3rd player to put up a 40-15-10 playoff performance, while also becoming the second-youngest player with back-to-back triple-doubles in the postseason, behind only Magic Johnson.
It was an incredible outing by No. 77 that left the whole NBA community astonished. Not Shaq though. Diesel wasn't impressed.
Calm it down a notch. That's all I'm saying. He's great, but I've seen that before - his name is Steph Curry. I've seen that before - his name is James Harden. I've seen it all last week - his name is Damian Lillard. Just calm it down a little bit - that's all I'm saying. He's great; he can play.
Shaquille O'Neal, Inside the NBA
Just a quick reminder Shaq - Luka Dončić is 21 years old! That's what all the fuss is about. None of the guys mentioned were on Luka's level at the age of 21. Curry was a rookie, averaging 17.5 points a game for the 26-win Golden State Warriors. Harden was coming off the bench for the Thunder, barely scoring in double digits, and Damian Lillard was at Webber State.
So in terms of 21-year-olds - no Shaq, you haven't seen it before. Except for Magic Johnson and LeBron James - they were doing similar things to Luka at the same age. Magic led the Lakers to an NBA championship, after stepping in at center and dropping 42 points in title-clinching Game 6 against the 76ers. As for 21-year-old LeBron, he had a historic 48-point performance against the Pistons in Game 5 of the ECF, scoring 29 of the Cavaliers' final 30 points, including 25 straight in Cleveland's 109-107 double-overtime win over Detroit.
That's the standard Luka is performing at, and that would've been a fair comparison to draw. Not Lillard from the past week, or Steph Curry from a few months, although Dončić would've held his ground even in such parable.
So Shaq, if you're not impressed with Luka, the basketball player, try looking at him as Luka, the 21-year-old basketball player who is playing through his debut postseason campaign. Now tell me, are you still not impressed?