Wentz: ‘We’re not panicking; we know what we have to clean up, and we will’

For the Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz, the 2020 season has been a struggle. In Week 1 against Washingon, Wentz threw two picks, and on Sunday in the team’s home-opener against the Rams, Wentz(26/43 for 242 yards and two interceptions) threw two more picks as the Eagles were dominated by Los Angeles(2-0) 37-19.

After trailing 21-3 in the second quarter, Philadelphia(0-2) cut the lead to 21-16 at the half and had the momentum. However, with the Eagles driving for a touchdown in the third quarter, Wentz was picked off by Darious Williams in the endzone. After the game, Wentz discussed what went wrong on that play.

“On the interception, [the Rams defense] made a great play. I got out on the naked there to the left, and they had us covered pretty well,” Wentz said. “I got pretty aggressive and tried to force one in there. [Rams CB Darious Williams] made a great play. I have to be smarter in that situation. Overall, offensively, we know we’re right there. At the end of the day, we had two interceptions and the fumble. Turning the ball over is really killing us the last two weeks. Those are the things we know we can clean up. But other than that, we truly feel that we’re right there. We’re just missing some things, timing of some things. We’re not panicking. We know what we have to clean up, and we will.”

At 0-2, the Eagles have an uphill battle in terms of making the playoffs. According to oddsshark.com, since 2007, 98 teams have started 0-2. Only 12 (12.2 percent) turned it around to make the playoffs, but according to Wentz, Philly can turn things around.

“We’re obviously frustrated,” he said. “You never want to start 0-2. Last week, the way we lost to Washington, starting 0-1, is obviously not what we want and not how we expect to finish ball games. And then today, coming out behind again, [is] not where you want to be. But we know there’s enough things through two games, offensively speaking, that we can put on the tape and know we’re right there [and] just missing some things. We’re right there, don’t panic, we’ll be okay. I’ve always had all the confidence in the world in our defense. Things happen, but we’re not panicking and excited to get back on it.”

Eagles RB Miles Sanders, who ran for 95 yards, but had a costly fumble that sent up a Rams’ touchdown in the first quarter, thinks Philly still has time to get right.

‘”It’s very frustrating,” Sanders said about the team being 0-2. “I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t. But like I said, it’s a blessing that it’s a long season. And like I said, we have opportunities week by week just to get better and get some [wins] on the left-hand side of that column.”

There is still a lot of season left for the Eagles, and Philadelphia plays in the NFC East, which appears to be weak at this point of the season. But, Wentz has to be better, and defensively they have to be better.

Jags’ Chark: ‘I think honestly we feel like we can go toe to toe with anybody’

While the Jacksonville Jaguars(1-1) lost on Sunday to the Titans(2-0) 33-30 in Nashville, there were many positives from this game, especially on the offensive side of the ball. 

On Sunday, the Jaguars had 480 yards of total offense. Gardner Minshew threw for 339 yards with three touchdowns, but two costly interceptions. Rookie free agent RB James Robinson had his first 100-yard game(102 yards, 1 TD), and wide receiver D.J. Chark had four catches for 84 yards.  Jacksonville started slow and battled hard in this game, and they were down 14-0 in the first quarter and 30-17 in the fourth quarter before tying the game at 30 midway through the final quarter.

The expectations are low for the Jaguars, but according to Chark, Jacksonville can compete with any team in the NFL. 

 “I think honestly we feel like we can go toe to toe with anybody. It doesn’t matter,” Chark said after the game. “Our offensive line is going to move people off the ball. James is going to run hard. Our receivers are all capable of making plays, and they understand that we expect plays to be made every time the ball is in the air. It’s our ball or nobody’s ball, and Gardner(Minshew) is out there making great decisions.

“I think it’s just the mentality that we have, whether it’s 30-17 or it’s a tie game. We understand that we only control what we can control when we’re out there on the field, and I think that helps the offensive line, but it also helps the defense to know that in years past, when we’d get down, it’s kind of like a snowball effect, but they know even if the team does score, we as an offense have the potential to go score, too. So you just go out there and keep playing like every drive is a new drive.”

Minshew added: “Yeah, I mean, you see their resilience when we’re in there. But we also learned that we’ve got to start faster. We don’t need to be getting down 13 in the first place. I think if we jump out and play every quarter like we played that fourth, we’re going to be a really, really good football team.”

It’s still early, but Jacksonville played two teams(Colts, Titans) that many believe could make the playoffs in 2020 and proved to everyone that they could compete. Obviously, there are no morals victories in the NFL, but Jacksonville has to be happy with how they performed after two games. 

Pedraza: ‘I do believe I’m ready for a world title opportunity’

Jose Pedraza’s second appearance in the MGM Grand “Bubble” resulted in yet another victory, as the Puerto Rican former two-weight world champion bested fellow 2008 Olympian Javier Molina via unanimous decision (99-91 and 98-92 2x) in the junior welterweight main event.

Pedraza (28-3, 13 KOs), who won a decision over Mikkel LesPierre on July 2, returned to Las Vegas and authored his most significant junior welterweight victory. Molina (22-3, 9 KOs) entered the evening on a five-bout winning streak, a career-reviving run that included an upset over Amir Imam back in February.

Pedraza, who switched from orthodox to southpaw, hurt Molina in the seventh round and widened the gap as the bout reached its conclusion. He has won two bouts since dropping a decision to Jose Zepeda last September in his junior welterweight debut.

Pedraza said, “They do name me the ‘Sniper,’ and that means I have to be patient, and when my moment comes, I have to take advantage of it. That’s what I did tonight because I was able to wear him down, break him down and make him fight my fight. It was the experience that I’ve had at the top level that helped me finally put it together. I’ve had the experience, I’ve had the talent, and it’s just on a night like this that I’m happy I could put it all together.

“I do believe I’m ready for a world title opportunity. Whoever it happens to be between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez, I want the winner of that fight. If for some reason I can’t get a world title shot against them, I do want to respectfully ask Jose Zepeda for the rematch.”

Ajagba Goes the Distance

The knockout didn’t come as expected, but Efe Ajagba’s Top Rank debut ended with his hand raised. Ajagba (14-0, 11 KOs) notched a 10-round unanimous decision over Jonnie Rice (13-6-1, 9 KOs) in the co-feature, controlling the distance with his jab as he cruised to victory by scores of 99-91 2x and 98-92.

Ajagba hurt his right hand in the fight, only the second time he’s gone the distance in his career.

In undercard bouts:

Featherweight: Robeisy Ramirez (5-1, 3 KOs) UD 8 Felix Caraballo (13-3-2, 9 KOs). Scores: 80-72 2x and 79-73. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Ramirez pitched a near-shutout over Caraballo, a native of Puerto Rico who lost via sixth-round stoppage to former featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson in June. Ramirez has now won five straight since a shocking split decision defeat in his professional debut.

Junior MiddleweightLeo Ruiz (8-0, 5 KOs) UD 6 Rodrigo Solis (4-5-1, 2 KOs). Scores: 59-53 2x and 58-54. Ruiz laid a beating on Solis, a native of Cancun, Mexico, who accepted the fight on four days’ notice. Solis, however, lasted the distance against top prospect Ruiz, who has sparred the likes of unified junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez and top welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz.

Super MiddleweightChristian Montano (10-0, 7 KOs) UD 6 Ryan Adams (7-3-1, 6 KOs). Scores: 60-54 2x and 58-56. Montano, in his first fight in nearly 18 months, returned with a workmanlike decision victory.

Lightweight: Bryan Lua (6-0, 3 KOs) KO 2 Luis Norambuena (4-7-1). Lua had not fought in more than two years and made up for lost time, knocking out Norambuena with a left hook late in the second round.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 1 Deandre Anderson (1-2). Tucker needed only 2:56 to prevail in his pro debut, stopping Anderson on his feet following a flurry of punches. Anderson, also a pro MMA fighter, was coming off a split decision win against a previously unbeaten fighter.

Welterweight: Kasir Goldston (1-0) UD 4 Isaiah Varnell (3-3, 2 KOs). Scores: 40-36 and 39-37 2x. The 17-year-old Goldston, from Albany, N.Y., had to go the distance in his first pro outing and swept the fourth round on all three judges’ cards to secure the win.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

Lubin on loss to Charlo fight: ‘It was also disappointing because I dared to be great’

In 2017 and at age 22, 154-pound contender Erickson Lubin had an opportunity to gain his first title against WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo, but Lubin was stopped in the first round by a vicious Charlo uppercut. 

Almost three years since his loss to Charlo, Lubin has an opportunity to get another shot at that WBC title. On Saturday, Lubin will battle Terrell Gausha in a WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator live on SHOWTIME from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

After the loss to Charlo, Lubin(22-1, 16 KOs) switched trainers and is with Kevin Cunningham. Currently, Lubin is on a four-fight win streak, and he believes a win over Gausha will open up more doors for him.

“These are great fights to get me ready for another title shot,” Lubin said via Zoom call on Thursday. “Fighting for a title at such a young age did a lot for my game. It helped me get to that next level. This next go around for the title will definitely be different. I feel like I’m at my best right now.

“I’m fighting for that mandatory spot for the winner of Jermell Charlo vs. Jeison Rosario, and I’m looking forward to getting in the ring to fight one of those guys. “I’m excited to fight for not just one strap, but all three. I’m not just chasing Jermell Charlo. I’m chasing those titles. If he wins, so be it. I want those belts.”

Gausha(21-1-1, 10 KOs), a 2012 Olympian, only has one blemish on his record after losing to Erislandy Lara in 2017, and according to Lubin, he can handle anything Gausha has to offer.

“I had a tremendous training camp once again,” Lubin said. “Saturday night, I’m looking to go out there, look my best and come out with a dominant victory. I’m expecting Terrell to be solid too. But the way I train, I’m going to have an answer for everything that he comes with.

“I remember watching Terrell back in his Olympic days. Now we’re in the pro ranks, though, so it’s a totally different story. He’s a solid fighter, but I feel like I’m on a different level than him. I’m planning on proving that on Saturday night.”

The loss to Charlo was a learning experience for Lubin, which he believes will help him eventually take over the 154-pound division.

“The loss was definitely something to learn from. It was also disappointing because I dared to be great. I learned that experience is a great teacher. I took that from the Charlo fight, brought it with me, and bounced back. I’m still bouncing back in a great way, and I’ll soon take over this division.”

The SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features Mongolia’s Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar stepping in to face unbeaten Cobia “Soldier” Breedy in the 10-round featherweight co-main event bout. The telecast opener will see one of the top prospects in boxing, unbeaten welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis,squaring off against the Dominican Republic’s Juan Carlos Abreu in a 10-round matchup.

Nery: ‘After I win this belt on September 26, I want Brandon Figueroa next’

Unbeaten former champion Luis Nery shared updates from his training camp as he prepares to take on undefeated Aaron Alameda for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship in the co-main event of part two of a SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader Saturday, September 26 in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

For this fight, Nery is training for the first time under the guidance of Eddy Reynoso at his gym in San Diego, alongside Canelo Alvarez and former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr., amongst others. Although Nery enters this fight on an 11-fight knockout streak, he has been able to hone other facets of his arsenal under Reynoso.

“Coach Reynoso has been helping me a lot with my defense,” said Nery. “We’re working on boxing with my hands up and on my accuracy. He’s helping me do everything possible to maximize my power and speed. I feel very strong and I’ve been sparring 12 rounds for a while now. I’m extremely ready for September 26 and focused on nothing but that.”

Nery and Alameda were set to square off in a bantamweight battle on SHOWTIME® in March, before the pandemic delayed that showdown. With Rey Vargas vacating his 122-pound title due to an injury, the rescheduled fight came with the addition of that title being on the line. While he knows Alameda will bring his best, Nery is confident in continuing his winning streak.

“I know that Alameda is a tough, undefeated fighter who’s going to leave it all in the ring,” said Nery. “I know he wants to win, just like me, and I know he’s working every day so that he can perform to his maximum potential. I believe that my speed and my overall talent will make me the winner. The postponement has given me even more time to train and prepare for this matchup. I’m 100% ready.”

Nery has long established himself as a force in the bantamweight division, winning his title in 2017 by traveling to Japan and handing Shinsuke Yamanaka his first loss via fourth-round stoppage. While September 26 is his first championship fight at 122-pounds, he has his sights set on dominating the super bantamweight division and beyond.

“At this moment, I want to fight at both 118 and 122-pounds,” said Nery. “There are a lot of great fights to be made in those weight classes. Sometime next year, I want to move up to 126-pounds so that I can dominate all three divisions.”

The stacked September 26 PPV undercards feature a wealth of champions and top talent at both the 118 and 122 weight classes. If he’s victorious next Saturday night, Nery has his eyes on a fight against WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Brandon Figueroa, who defends his title against Damien Vazquez in the co-main event of part one of the doubleheader.

“After I win this belt on September 26, I want Brandon Figueroa next,” said Nery. “I’m not overlooking Alameda at all, but if I had my choice, me and Figueroa would give the fans a great show my next time in the ring.”

Giants’ Barkley on Tiki: ‘I’m not going to look at it as disrespect; I’m going to look at it as a challenge’

Saquon Barkley and his offensive coordinator today delivered figurative stiff arms in response to what has become the media’s issue of the week regarding the Giants: the third-year running back’s pass protection skills.

The tempest was ignited when Tiki Barber – the Giants’ career rushing leader- criticized Barkley for his pass protection.

Barkley, who rushed for six yards and caught six passes in the Giants’ 26-16 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday night, has received criticism for his blocking in the past and he’s not losing sleep after hearing it again.

“Obviously, Tiki is a legend,” Barkley said. “He has done a lot of great things for this franchise. I’m not going to look at it as disrespect; I’m going to look at it as a challenge. Same thing with him, like everyone else, I really don’t care about outside opinions. I’m really focused about the opinions in this building. Try to come to work every single day and get better.”

Barkley said pass protection is just one point of emphasis in practice, because he continually works to elevate all facets of his game.

“I come to work every single day with the mindset, try to improve in everything,” he said. “Focus on the little things. Whatever the drill is, focus on that. If it’s the pass game, focus on catching the ball, if it’s pass pro, if it’s run game, focus on making the run cuts and the right reads. When I’m in the open field work on my moves and work on finishing scoring touchdowns.

“I know this is going to be the question or the kind of the theme of this media session about my pass pro. I understand that I probably made some mistakes in pass pro and I put it on film. I know it’s going to keep coming, people are going to keep challenging me. It’s a good way to keep me in and stop me from getting to open space and making plays there too also. I just have to keep working at it, keep getting better and that’s going to be my same answer for the rest of the pass pro questions.”

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett conceded Barkley’s blocking wasn’t perfect against Pittsburgh, but he fully supports the third-year back.

“Great respect for Tiki, first of all,” Garrett said. “He was a teammate of mine (from 2000-03). I’ve known him for a long time and I really respect him as a person and as a player in this league. Having said that, we really try to focus on what we need to do with our guys and do internal evaluations of how they play.

“One of the things we love about Saquon is his desire to be a complete back. That’s running the football, both inside and outside, as a pass receiver and also as a pass protector. Having said that, he can improve in all areas. That’s something that we like so much about him, is his desire to come in and get better and strive to be a complete back. There were some examples of him blocking well in the passing game the other night. There were some examples of him not blocking as well as he needs to. He knows that. We’re working on that, we’re trying to get him better in that area. But we love his approach, we love his desire to be a complete back, and that’s going to help him and our team going forward.”

Head coach Joe Judge yesterday was the first member of the organization to field a question about Barber’s remarks. And as he most often does, he aimed his response at the team instead of one player.

“Look, we’re all working hard every day to get better at everything we do,” Judge said. “We’re coming out of training camp, we have one game under our belt. There’s not a player or a coach on our team that doesn’t have to improve going into Week 2, and then consistently throughout the season. We have to go ahead and make up some ground quickly. But we have confidence in all of our players. We’re going to work on every technique we have to in all aspects of the game.

“People pay a price to watch us play. Everyone’s opinion is valid if they’re a fan. We have to make sure on the inside we understand what we’re doing and that we prioritize on what we have to work on. But I respect Tiki. Obviously, he’s a guy that knows the game. He’s been a great player for this organization. But we’re going to go ahead and make sure we get everybody rising.”

Though this is not unchartered territory for Barkley, it’s a place he has visited infrequently since his arrival two years ago. The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is more accustomed to receiving acclaim than negative analysis. He’ll deal with this as he does all games that don’t meet his lofty standards.

“It happened. The game happened,” Barkley said. “I had 15 carries for six yards. I think I tied for the second-lowest (yardage) of all time with 15 carries or more. Guess what? I came to work this week with a smile on my face, ready to work and ready to get better. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you praise me or you say negative things about me. I’m not going to use that motivation because my motivation is to be great myself. I don’t need you guys to push me that way. I need to focus on myself and try building up myself. This week, there’s no extra motivation. There’s no this or that or the third. It’s just try to come in and get the W for the Giants.”

Via: giants.com

Jaguars’ Allen on doubters: ‘They don’t see how well we play together’

No one expected much out of the Jacksonville Jaguars when the season started. On paper, many believed the Jaguars had one of the worst teams in football. However, the Indianapolis Colts might think differently after the Jaguars’ 27-20 victory over Indianapolis last Sunday.

Jacksonville(1-0) got outstanding quarterback play out of Gardner Minshew(19/20, 173 yards, 3 TDs). Furthermore, the Jaguars were opportunistic on defense and created two turnovers. 

Even after this victory, the doubters are still out there, which DE Josh Allen addressed on Thursday.

“A lot of good players left our organization, and they really saw that, and they’re just like, ‘Oh, they’re weak now.’ But little do they know, they’re not in the locker room with us, they don’t see the guys that we have, and they don’t see how well we play together,” Allen said. “We’re a family, man, we play for each other, we play as one. And that’s just how our mindsets [are], and I’m just excited to get going again.”

Jacksonville will be tested on Sunday when they go on the road to battle the Tennessee Titans(1-0), who made it to the AFC title game last season. 

Allen discussed what it would mean to beat Tennessee.

“I feel like [there’s] always going to be that doubt when people think about us, and that’s just the status quo we have to change around here,” Allen said. “But we’re really focusing on ourselves and how we play week-in and week-out. Because we’re not really focused on the outside noise, we hear it all the time, since probably Jalen [Ramsey] left that we weren’t going to be a good team and everybody that left after that, it’s just been getting worse and worse. And now, they saw us play last week, and now they’re surprised.

“So, yeah, I think it’s a big game for us, it’s a big game because it’s a divisional game. It’s a game we must have. If you win, if you go undefeated in our division or any division, there’s a good chance you’re going to go to the playoffs. So, we see this as a big challenge because it’s a second divisional game, and starting off 2-0 in that would be major. So, yeah, we’re excited about this weekend, we can’t wait to get going.”

Defeating the Titans won’t be easy, but If the Jaguars can find a way to beat Tennessee on Sunday, all the doubters will indeed become believers.

Buccaneers’ Arians: ‘We win a few games in a row, and everybody will be back on the bandwagon’

After the acquisition of Tom Brady in the offseason, many were ready to give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Lombardi Trophy. However, after losing to the Saints in the season-opener last Sunday, the same people prepared to crown the Buccaneers(0-1) are now the same people ready to jump off the bandwagon, which Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians discussed on Wednesday.

“I was amused when they handed us the Lombardi trophy in July,” Arians said. “It’s part of the business. You go with it, and it’s one week at a time [and] one day at a time. We win a few games in a row, and everybody will be back on the bandwagon [and] happy. It’s just part of the game. If we lose this week, the world will come to an end.”

The NFL is a week-to-week league. Meaning one week, a team can look like world-beaters, and the following week, a team can look very bad. Tampa definitely did not play their best football against the Saints. However, after watching the film, Arians believes all that went wrong can be corrected.

“You’re very disappointed [after the game], and then you look at it, and you take all the good things that happened,” he said. “The things that were bad – could they be correctable? They were very correctable, and we’re on to Carolina now.”

Additionally, there won’t be many times when Brady will throw two interceptions in a game, which he did against the Saints. After that game, Arians was critical of Brady, but according to Arians, he and Brady are on the same page.

“Tom and I are fine, so I don’t really care what other people think,” he said. “It’s just what he and I think. We left the stadium fine [and] we showed up today fine, so there [is] nothing to talk about.”

Tampa Bay has a chance to get right in their home opener against another division foe, the Carolina Panthers(0-1), who also lost in their season-opener against the Raiders, so both teams will be desperate for a win on Sunday. According to the USA Today, since 2007, 107 teams have started 0-2. Only 11.2% of those teams turned things around to make the playoffs. 

If the Buccaneers lose against the Panthers, fans will panic, and many will continue to jump off the bandwagon. But, at this point, it’s never wise to bet against Brady.

Lubin: ‘I respect him as a fighter, but I don’t think Gausha is on my level’

Top super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin knows that a convincing victory over Terrell Gausha will put him back in position to capture a world title, as he nears their WBC Super Welterweight title eliminator showdown this Saturday, September 19 headlining action live on SHOWTIME in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“I respect him as a fighter, but I don’t think Gausha is on my level,” said Lubin. “He’s standing in my way of becoming a world champion, so I need to take care of business Saturday night, and look good doing it. I have to make a statement in this fight.”

Lubin and Gausha were set to meet on SHOWTIME last October, before Gausha was forced to withdraw due to a hand injury. Gausha presents the biggest test for Lubin in his pro career since his only defeat against WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo.

“Gausha is a U.S. Olympian who’s fought at the championship level, so I know he’s going to bring that experience to the table,” said Lubin. “This is a chance for me to show my growth in the ring and really separate myself as one of the elite fighters in this division.”

The 24-year-old Lubin has won four-straight fights since his 2017 defeat to Charlo, with three coming by stoppage. The winning streak has coincided with him bringing in renowned trainer Kevin Cunningham, who was also the head trainer for former world champions Devon Alexander and Cory Spinks, amongst others.

“We’re out here in West Palm Beach, Fla. and training camp has been going as planned,” said Lubin. “It’s just hard work and dedication day after day. Coach Cunningham and I are working great together. Everyone knows that he’s a no-nonsense type of trainer, so that mindset is contagious. I’ve done everything that’s been demanded of me so far in training. I’m in great shape and will be ready to go into deep waters if the fight goes the distance.”

Lubin returns to fight on a SHOWTIME platform for the fourth-straight bout and his second consecutive headlining appearance after his October 2019 unanimous decision victory over Nathaniel Gallimore in the main event.

“It’s always a great feeling to be fighting on the big stage on SHOWTIME,” said Lubin. “This is a title eliminator, so everything is on the line for me. I have to bring the heat from the opening bell. We are in the business of entertaining the fans, so I’m coming with everything I’ve got. Fans can expect to see an explosive fight on Saturday night.”

Luka Doncic named to All-NBA First Team

Mavericks guard Luka Dončić was named to the 2019-20 All-NBA First Team, the league announced on Wednesday. Dončić was joined on the All-NBA First Team by LeBron James(unanimous), Giannis Antetokounmpo(unanimous), James Harden, and Anthony Davis.

Dončić, who was 21 years, 168 days old on the final day of the 2019-20 regular season (Aug. 14), becomes the sixth player to earn All-NBA First Team honors at age 21-or-younger, along with LeBron James (2006), Max Zaslofsky (1947), Kevin Durant (2010), Tim Duncan (1998) and Rick Barry (1966). James (21 years, 110 days) and Zaslofsky (21 years, 114 days) are the only players to achieve the feat at a younger age than Dončić. In fact, if the season would have ended on its originally scheduled date (April 15), Dončić would have been the youngest to ever do it.

The second-year guard becomes the first player named to the All-NBA First Team in either his first or second season since Duncan in 1998-99 (Duncan made the First Team in each of his first eight seasons from 1997-98 to 2004-05).

Dončić averaged 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 54 games before to the restart (through March 11). The 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year saw his numbers increase in the bubble, as he nearly averaged a 30-point triple-double (30.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 9.7 apg) in Orlando en route to being named a unanimous Kia NBA All-Seeding Games First Team selection. Dončić finished the regular season with averages of 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 61 games (all starts), becoming just the third player in NBA history to average at least 28-9-8 for a full season (Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook).

The 21-year-old recorded a league-high 17 triple-doubles in 2019-20, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to lead the league outright in the category. Dončić not only broke Jason Kidd’s Mavericks single-season triple-double record (nine in 1995-96), but he became the franchise’s all-time leader in the category as well (25). Twelve of his triple-doubles were of the 30-point variety, and he again joined Robertson and Westbrook as one of three players to record at least 12 30-point triple-doubles in a single season.

Dončić also finished the season as the league leader in 25-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist games (five), 30-10-7 efforts (18) and 20-5-5 games (50).

Dončić ranked sixth in scoring (28.8 ppg), 17th in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and third in assists (8.8 apg). He became the seventh player since the ABA/NBA merger (1976-77) to finish a season ranked in the top-20 among qualifiers in scoring, rebounding and assists (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Grant Hill, Kevin Garnett, James, Westbrook).

Voting for the 2019-20 All-NBA Teams was based on games played through March 11 (prior to the hiatus).

 

2019-20 NBA All-NBA Second Team:

Kawhi Leonard (L.A. Clippers)

Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)

Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)

Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)

 

2019-20 NBA All-NBA Third Team:

Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)

Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)

Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)

Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets)