Southwest Notes: Doncic, Pelicans, Lewis Jr., Mavericks

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently compared Luka Doncic‘s style of play and charisma to that of one the most entertaining and successful point guards in league history — Magic Johnson.

Doncic, 21, is coming off a breakout season that saw him average 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists on 46% shooting. He also led his team to the seventh-best record in the West at 43-32, losing to the Clippers 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs.

“He [Doncic] can pass the ball, see from the top, get where he wants from the court. Knows how to pass to guys on time and on target,” Cuban said in an appearance on the Danger Show (as relayed by Dan Cancian of Newsweek.com).

“Clutch player in crunch time. [He] will take on responsibility against anybody, anytime. Great teammate. Fun Kid. Magic will light things up with a smile, Luka’s the same way for the Mavs. He’s got that charisma that Magic has.”

Here are some other notes from the Southwest Division tonight:

  • William Guillory of The Athletic explores how much spacing could be a concern for the Pelicans this year. New Orleans has transformed its roster ahead of the 2020/21 season, hiring head coach Stan Van Gundy and his staff, inking Brandon Ingram to a multi-year extension and acquiring Steven Adams to bolster the frontcourt. The team possesses the talent needed to reach the playoffs next season, though it remains unclear whether it has enough shooting to be a legitimate contender.
  • Pelicans rookie Kira Lewis Jr. is a student of the game at just 19 years old, Christian Clark of Nola.com writes. Lewis was drafted by the team with the No. 13 pick this month, having spent the past two seasons at Alabama. “He’s a student of the game,” former AAU coach Cory Underwood said. “That’s why he’s going to find a way to succeed in the NBA somehow, someway. He’s been doing things like that since he was young. A lot of guys now, you’ll find NBA guys. The Anthony Edwards thing was a big thing. He said he doesn’t watch basketball. A lot of kids don’t watch basketball. Kira Lewis watches basketball.” 
  • Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News examines the five biggest issues the Mavericks will face entering training camp, beginning with a pair of questions related to Kristaps Porzingis. The team still doesn’t have a concrete timetable for Porzingis’ return from injury, with team president Donnie Nelson recently giving an early-January target range for the 25-year-old. The club must also determine whether he’ll primarily play power forward or center this season.
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17 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Doncic, Pelicans, Lewis Jr., Mavericks

  1. Sillivan

    Mavs and Pelicans are overrated by media
    Mavs are 6-8 seed
    Pelicans are 9-11 seed

    • mlbnyyfan

      Mavs probably ready to compete for a Title in about 3 years unless Luka leaves and joins AD.

      • seamaholic

        Luka’s amazing. I’m really not sure about the rest of that team. Not a lot of depth, and their 3rd best player (after the made-of-glass Porzingis) is, I dunno, maybe Hardway, Jr? That’s not good enough. Seth Curry was quietly really important to them. And not sure who’s gonna play defense, if anyone.

        • justinkm19

          Didn’t watch the draft or trade deadline? All we did in the off-season was upgrade the Defense

        • Juicey24

          Each year Tim Hardaway was better and with better defence team will be better and better.

    • cryptonerd

      Pelicans are stacked with improving players in their first few years.
      They’ll take a huge leap forward and be a top tier squad when they put it together

      • seamaholic

        All depends on Zion. If he turns into what everyone seems to think he’ll be, yeah, that’s a dangerous team. Let’s just say I have severe doubts.

      • No team wins when the locker room is as put together as a shattered plate, shattered means not put together, and probably missing pieces cause the small ones fly under the counter and get traded to the nets

  2. Reflect

    Luka is awesome. I enjoyed watching him all throughout the playoffs, but that one game winning shot he hit is truly unforgettable.

    • Rewane

      Had a 40 point triple double that game too.
      Has been a fan of him since he scored 11 points staight when Mavs are down by 8 with 3 minutes left against the Rockets.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Westbrook wants out does not want to play with Harden. Nobody wants to play with Harden. All you do is stand around and watch him kill the clock. I don’t see this ending well. Best to move him and redo team around Harden.
    KP is not a PF. He will not last playing D on 4s and wings. His legs are not meant for that. On offense he can play outside not on D. He needs weight and muscle to play C. Running around on perimeter playing D. Will shorten his career.

  4. stevep-4

    Seems like Zinger really can’t stay healthy. Who knows if he will actually fulfill his potential?

  5. formerlyz

    Dallas is significantly better, assuming health.

    Kira Lewis jr reminds me of a faster Mario Chalmers, with not as much current shooting consistency

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