NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
The 2018 rookie class is filled with a lot of great talent and some future All-Stars. While there any many rookies that will do well in the NBA, the one that is shining right now is the Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic.
The 19-year old Slovenian rookie has fit right in the NBA. He is averaging 18.5 points per game, 6.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Those numbers are great and will keep him in the conversation for Rookie of the Year.
Those stats aren't even why Doncic is going to win the rookie of the year. His basketball IQ, clutch shot making, great defense and calm demeanor has him ahead of the pack. His transition from the European League to the NBA has been very smooth.
People forget this kid is only 19-years old! He blocked LeBron James twice in three second and made it look easy. James doesn't get blocked often and here is a kid in his teams doing it twice in a game.
I love his defense and how he rotates when a player is beaten. Doncic isn't taking any plays off and teams love a player that plays help defense. It is almost impossible to stop NBA players in one-on-one situations so players have to rely on help defense.
What impresses me about Doncic is how great of a shooter he is at his age. He has been playing professionally for Real Madrid since he was 13. That experience has paid off dividend in his rookie year. Maybe more American athletes should look into playing overseas at a young age. That is much better than playing high school basketball players that don't help you improve as a basketball because the skill level so far apart.
There are a few players that may steal the Rookie of the Year award from Doncic if he struggles. However, I think that he will play as he is playing and end up winning the Rookie of the Year award.