Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was a tearing it up in the EuroLeague as a teenager before he got to the NBA. He led Real Madrid to the league title, was named league MVP and Final Four MVP. A teenager dominating the second-best basketball league in the world is pretty impressive. Two months ago on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man And The Three” podcast, Doncic said it’s easier to score in the NBA.
“The NBA is way more tougher to play. I only say scoring is easier in the NBA,” said Doncic. “Just because the amount of different rules, the less space, the time.”
When Redick directly asked Doncic if it’s easier to score 30 points in an NBA game than a Euroleague game, the three-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA team member said, “Yeah, 100 percent,.”
“I’m just saying because of the rules,” Doncic continued. “If you have a guy, let’s say Rudy Gobert. He can stay in the paint on defense, three seconds, however he wants. Like just because of that rule, you can have 10 more points easily.”
Luka explains why it's 100% easier to score 30 points in The NBA than in The EuroLeague. Fantastic insight. pic.twitter.com/Eyu9vdjRJ7
— TheOldMan&TheThree (@OldManAndThree) March 18, 2022
Of course, Doncic is correct. He’s not saying the NBA is an easier league. The players and talent level in the NBA are the best in the world. But the NBA rules allow for a freedom of movement, and, as Doncic mentioned, there is no illegal defense.
It’s one of the reasons Team USA Basketball struggles in the early rounds of international competition. It takes awhile to get used to the rules.
The other piece is the EuroLeague allows more off-ball grabbing, holding and physicality. That limits offensive flow as well.
Scoring 30 in either league consistently is difficult and can only be done by the best players. Doncic is on the short list for the “best player in the world” title. At only 23 there are still improvements he can make to his game.
Elite young basketball talent has been on display all playoffs long in the NBA. In addition to Doncic, the Boston Celtics’ tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has been impressive. Two elite two-way wings 25 and under who might win their first NBA title this season.
LUKA. He's my fav player!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 17, 2022
The Memphis Grizzlies are the second-youngest team in the league, and they are led by a pair of 22-year-olds in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.
There is the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker, who is 25. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, are 26 and 21, respectively.
The top-three MVP finishers, Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are 27, 28, and 27, respectively.
The depth of talent in the league has never been greater, and as LeBron James and his generation fade, the league will be in extremely capable hands.
While Doncic was a EuroLeague champion, he has yet to add an NBA title to his résumé. He’s only been in the league for four years and has made the playoffs in three of his four seasons. The 2022 playoffs is the first time he has advanced past the first round.
Doncic and the Mavericks are down 0-1 to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. If the Mavs want to even the series, they’re going to need Doncic to be brilliant and for his teammates to knock down wide-open shots.