Southwest Notes: Doncic, Cuban, Barlow, Pelicans

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic leads the league with 34.2 points per game, yet there’s little buzz regarding his Most Valuable Player award candidacy. Perhaps a big showing in tonight’s All-Star Game could change that narrative, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.

However, Doncic himself is skeptical. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t know.”

He does know there’s a lot of work to be done to make this a special season for himself and the franchise. “I have a long, long way to go,” he said. “So I just enjoy every moment. . . I just appreciate every day. Every game. Every practice. For me it’s fun. So for me to do this as my job, it’s a dream.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Commissioner Adam Silver has plenty of praise for Mark Cuban, who has given up majority ownership in the Mavericks but will reportedly remain involved in basketball operations. Silver called Cuban a “game-changing owner” who continues to voice his opinions regularly to the NBA office, Townsend writes in a separate story. “He’s had an incredible impact on this league,” Silver said. “I have been with the league through the entire tenure of his ownership. From his earliest days in the league, he pushed us hard. He came in as a technologist.”
  • The Spurs’ Dominick Barlow, who is on a two-way contract, participated in the NBA G League’s Up Next tournament on Sunday. Barlow, who has appeared in 23 NBA games this season, said he’s grateful to have any type of pro contract. “If you don’t have a purpose and a passion for something and aren’t giving your all, you are just wasting your time,” he told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News. “So many people, especially young people, are searching for what they want to do in life and it takes a long time for a lot of different people to find that. I was fortunate to find what I wanted to do at a young age and I try to take full advantage, understanding I have a gift and a blessing. I don’t want to waste it.”
  • Former Warriors GM and current ESPN TV analyst Bob Myers compares the Pelicans to the Knicks, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times Picayune relays. “I think the Knicks are the Pelicans of the East,” Myers said on ESPN. “Very deep. A lot of good players. Lacking greatness.” Myers adds that those types of teams are less effective in the postseason. “When you get to the playoffs, it’s not about the ninth or 10th guy,” he said. “When the Warriors were winning championships, you know what our bench scoring was? Twenty-seventh in the league; 28th in the league; 29th. You know who scored? The guy making $40 million. The guy making $30 million.”
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