DALLAS - The reviews continue to roll in on Luka Doncic, and they are of course rave reviews. The Dallas Mavericks' youngster has already been the Rookie of the Year, a first-team All-Star, a first-team All-NBA honoree and a top-four vote-getter in the MVP race.
And now starts just his third season ... and in Sports Illustrated's rankings of "Top 100 NBA Players of 2021.''
What SI writes, in part, about Doncic, who our colleagues rank in the No. 9 slot:
"There’s an abundance of ways to contextualize the incredible things Luka Dončić has accomplished by age 21. Suffice it to say, there’s a high likelihood what we’re witnessing is the emergence of the NBA’s next true alpha talent, and a player who could conceivably be in contention for the No. 1 spot on this list a year from now.
"He lands ninth on our list out of respect to the players ahead of him, but Dončić is closing in quickly, and, truthfully, you could make a compelling case for ranking him as high as fourth or fifth. At this point, it’s a matter of preference, a testament to the speed and manner in which he’s captured the attention and respect of his peers, and his savant-level capacity to control, and increasingly, take over the flow of a given game.
"It takes a truly unusual combination of focus and skill to function comfortably at the intersection of high usage and high efficiency, and it’s a challenge most players never master. Dončić is already there.''
Doncic, as MFFLs know, averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists last year as the engineer of the most efficient NBA offense ever. SI has more to say, about Luka and others in its top 10, here ...
Including this line: "Everything is seemingly within his reach. What’s crystal clear is that his superstardom is concrete, and that there’s assuredly more to come.''