Mavs’ Carlisle compares Luka Doncic’s mentality to Jordan, Kobe, LeBron

Luke Doncic continues to prove game in and game out why he one of the best players in the NBA, and on Tuesday night against the Celtics, the two-time All-Star demonstrated that once again.

Late in the game, with the Celtics up 105-104, Doncic hit a three-point shot to give Dallas a two-point lead, and then with the game tied at 107, Doncic would hit another three with 0.1 seconds left to give the Mavericks(15-15) a 110-107 home victory. 

Doncic, who finished the game with 31 points (6-8 3FG) to go with ten rebounds and eight assists, game-winning three against Boston looked very similar to his game-winning three against the Clippers last season in Game 4 of their first round series.

After the win against Boston, Doncic discussed his game-winning shot.

“Honestly, I was more confident in the first one,” Doncic said. “It felt good out of my hands. (On the second one) I was kind of tired running around the whole possession. It got in, and that’s all that matters…

“Sometimes two people guard me, and I have to pass it. Sometimes you’re going to miss it like the last game against Portland. Sometimes you’re going to make it.”

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 21-year-old Doncic joined Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, and Trae Young as the only players, age 21-or-younger, to hit multiple game-winning shots with 2.0 seconds or less remaining since 2012-13 (including playoffs). Dončić is also the second player in the last 25 seasons to make multiple go-ahead 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds of a game, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, who has played and coached against some all-time greats, compares Doncic’s mentality to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, and LeBron James. 

“The wiring of the people like Luka Doncic, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, guys that have this laser-like focus in these situations, it is difficult to explain, how their mind and their brain works. But from what I have seen over the years, and this is over three decades now, as the game gets tighter and the moment gets bigger, their focus is only on one thing, and that is succeeding in whatever the team needs. Whether it is the perfect pass for the assist, whether it is great shot-making, I have seen this time and time again. I have been victimized as a coach when guys like Kobe have hit shots and guys like that. He is a very rare breed of player. Not only does he have the laser-like focus, but he has the desire, and he has all the tools to deliver.”

Doncic is special, and if he continues at this level, yes, he could be talked about the way we talk about Jordan, LeBron, Bird, and Kobe.