Apr 25, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates making a foul call against the Utah Jazz during the third quarter in game five of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Dončić is a powerhouse, and that’s especially the case in the NBA playoffs.

The 23-year-old Dončić turns it on toward the end of the season, and his playoff stats rival some of the top players in the game. In fact, The Athletic’s Sam Amick took a look, and found Dončić’s per-game postseason averages are unprecedented so far.

“Even before Monday night’s game, [Dončić] had averaged 33.3 points, 9.1 assists and 8.9 rebounds in his 14 playoff games and thus, statistically speaking, was the best postseason performer of all time! No, not really. But it’s still impressive.”

“In terms of an individual player’s postseason history, no one has ever come anywhere close to averaging those kinds of numbers. According to Stathead.com, LeBron James — with his all-time high of 266 playoff games and an incredible series record of 39-11 — comes closest to the Dončić marks with averages of 28.7 points, nine rebounds and 7.2 assists.”

On Monday, Dončić kept up his postseason form, scoring 33 points with five assists and 13 rebounds. This came while he was coming off a calf injury that sidelined him for nearly two weeks. Admittedly, 15 games is a small sample size compared to the playoff careers of some of the legends of the game, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

This is all well and good. Dončić is putting up top numbers when it counts and he’s certainly a star, but that hasn’t translated to team playoff success.

The Dallas Mavericks have been in the playoffs for two of Dončić’s three previous seasons and lost both series in the first round. In 2020, the Mavericks lost in six games to the Clippers while in 2021, they lost to the Clippers in seven.

Maybe that says more about the Mavericks not having the supporting staff around Dončić. But with a 3-2 lead over the Utah Jazz, Dončić and the Mavs have a chance to win their first playoff series together on Thursday.

[The Athletic]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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