Dallas Mavs' Luka Doncic Trails Only Nikola Jokic on NBA MVP Ladder

Mavs superstar Luka Doncic surpassed Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the NBA's MVP Ladder, trailing only Nikola Jokic.
Mar 21, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts during the first
Mar 21, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts during the first / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

SACRAMENTO — Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic has produced an impressive 2023-24 campaign that has only improved with time. He has averaged 33.9 points (first), 9.8 assists (third), and 9.1 rebounds in 63 games, leading the Mavs to a 40-23 record in the games that he's played.

With the Mavs' 132-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, Doncic's squad moved into sixth place in the Western Conference standings. He totaled 28 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists in 32 minutes, without having to step on the court during any point of the fourth quarter.

Doncic has appeared in the Mavs' previous nine victories in part of a 9-1 stretch, averaging 29.8 points, 10.0 assists, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals during this run. The one game he missed was a 126.120 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

On NBA.com's weekly MVP ladder, Doncic surpassed Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for second place, trailing only Nikola Jokic. The recent success the Mavs have achieved in the win column has been the sole reason for the Slovenian superstar moving up the ranks.

"There’s still work to do, but the wins are finally starting to match the 25-year-old’s otherworldly production," Michael C. Wright wrote.

The Mavs' standings outlook has limited Doncic's MVP candidacy, but after moving into sixth and still having a possible outlook to move higher, there remains a possibility of upward motion. Dallas trails the fourth-ranked Los Angeles Clippers by 2.0 games and is behind the fifth-ranked New Orleans Pelicans by 1.5 games.

The upcoming schedule the Mavs face features various highly motivated Western Conference opponents to wrap up a five-game road trip. Dallas faces the Kings in a rematch on Friday after the blowout victory earlier in the week. After two full days off between games, Doncic is questionable to play again as he deals with left Achilles soreness.

After facing the Kings, the Mavs will take on the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors in their next stops as they compete for a play-in tournament spot.


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Grant Afseth

GRANT AFSETH

Grant Afseth is a Dallas Mavericks reporter for MavericksGameday.com and an NBA reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He previously covered the Indiana Pacers and NBA for CNHI's Kokomo Tribune and various NBA teams for USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Follow him on Twitter (@grantafseth), Facebook (@grantgafseth), and YouTube (@grantafseth). You can reach Grant at grantafseth35@gmail.com.