There’s no slow start for Luka Doncic in 2022.
After consecutive seasons of criticism and self-awareness that he was sluggish and out of shape out of summer break, Doncic has started 2022-23 on a tear. Now he’s joined a very short list alongside elite company.
The Dallas Mavericks star scored 33 points to go with 11 assists and five rebounds in a 103-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. It was his seventh straight 30-plus point effort to start the season. He’s the first player to achieve the feat since 1962-63. And he’s just the third to ever do so.
Jack Twyman did it in 1959. Wilt Chamberlain — of course — did it that same year and again in 1962.
And now Luka. That’s the list.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t do it. Michael Jordan didn’t do it. Karl Malone didn’t do it. Kobe Bryant didn’t do it. LeBron James hasn’t done it.
Doncic opened the season as the MVP betting favorite and has responded so far by averaging 36.1 points, nine assists and 8.9 rebounds per game. He’s opened with MVP hype before only to see a slow start derail the campaign.
His Slovenian trainer Anze Macek said in August that Doncic focused more on his offseason training program over the summer. Is it paying off on the court?