Luka Doncic made his case to be the No. 1 pick of the NBA in the Euroleague Final Four –

Luka Doncic made his case to be the No. 1 pick of the NBA in the Euroleague Final Four

Luka Doncic finished his European professional career on a perfect note last week. The Slovenian prodigy was named MVP of the Euroleague, won the Euroleague championship with Real Madrid and took home the Final Four MVP in the process.

No European has ever been decorated in this draft. At only 19 years old, Doncic has established that he is the biggest star in Europe at the same age as a college freshman. He is not only a great candidate to enter the draft, he has already shown that he is a great player.

The Euroleague is widely regarded as the highest level of competition in the world outside of the NBA. Doncic remembered that sometimes during the season, particularly during a difficult series win at the best of five over Panathinaikos in the quarterfinals of the Euroleague. Panathinaikos was a tough and physical team that cut off Doncic's driving lines and stifled his shooters, keeping him at only 10.5 points per game and 26.7 percent two-point shooting during the series. Real Madrid could still advance in four games, with Doncic adding 17 points and five badists in 4 of 8 from triple on the score to take the club to the Final Four.

While the Euroleague quarterfinals are determined by a series, the Final Four games are simple elimination. These were high-pressure games with mbadive participation in an intense atmosphere. As has been the case throughout his young career, Doncic was once again at his best in the biggest stages.

Doncic's last MVP was launched against CSKA Moscow, where he accumulated 16 points, seven rebounds and two badists in a semifinal. He followed with 15 points, four badists and three rebounds in the title game in a physical victory over defending champion Fenerbahce.

What did we learn about the most buzzing prospect in the 2018 NBA Draft during the Euroleague Final Four? [19659007] Luka Doncic is at his best as an offensive starter

The nominal point guard is not always the player who runs the team in the modern NBA. Instead, more teams have installed large ball handlers as their main offensive starter, the player most frequently charged with running pick-and-rolls and attacking the defense at the start of the clock.

Ben Simmons plays this role in Philadelphia, and Donovan Mitchell plays it in Utah. LeBron James has played him better than anyone in his entire career. James Harden was relentlessly efficient on paper this season on the road to a certain MVP. This is the kind of role Doncic plays for Real Madrid, and it's also the kind of role he should play in the NBA.

These two plays in the title game against Fenerbahce show how good Doncic is for his teammates to take open shots. Start the first play with a spherical screen, holding the defender with the eyes looking at the shooter in the corner before shooting a pbad to a partner inside the paint for an easy bucket. He probes the defense without a screen on the second play, sucking an badist defender to free a teammate for an open corner kick.

There is an argument for Doncic to be one of the three best pbaders to enter the draft this decade, along with Simmons and Lonzo Ball. That's a great compliment for a 6-foot-8, 230-pound player big enough to defend the NBA forwards in some lineups. But Doncic is not just a pbader-by. You can also hit shots outside the screens of the ball.

The ability to stop and start a play, go back to the three-point line and hit a shot reminiscent of a healthy Brandon Roy, or even Harden. He already plays with such aplomb and patience.

Doncic's adjustment to the speed of the NBA game from a physical point of view has been a major topic of conversation as he enters the draft season, but plays like these show that he is already beyond the typical rookie when it comes to mentally processing the speed of the game.

Doncic thrives in the transition

Doncic's ability to attack in the transition could be the most underestimated part of his game. In addition to leading Real Madrid in scoring and badists during the ACB games this season, he also finished second in the team in rebounds per game.

When Luka Doncic receives a rebound, he wants to flee.

The catchy term for this is "grab and carry", a skill dominated mainly by Draymond Green and Simmons. Doncic wants to create chaos by pressing the defense before it can be established. In a league that values ​​play with rhythm, Doncic finds ways to do so, even without the NBA's elite athleticism.

Doncic simply makes winning plays

Doncic will probably never put numbers per game that are on a par with those of Deandre Ayton. The case of Doncic as the player n. # 1 in this draft begins and ends with the idea that its impact on the winning basketball games will transcend the scoring statistics it is presenting.

These two plays are excellent examples. Doncic is not known as a great defender, but he shows quick hands in the first clip to force a rotation in the transition. On the second play, Doncic takes a rebound to keep alive a possession of Real Madrid before finishing the play with a drive from the corner.

He also has some athletic athleticism

Yes, Doncic does not have elite athleticism, but he is not a poor athlete. Doncic maximizes his physicality with functional athletics, a combination of knowing how to take advantage of his huge frame with a good first step, the ability to manipulate the rhythm and enough juice to finish a play in the basket when he needs it.

The work above is particularly impressive given that it is exploding with one foot to throw a dunk in traffic. Here is another example of his ability to throw a foot and end a play:

Do you know who is a great athlete? Andrew Wiggins. He is not as good as an NBA player either because he is not very skilled and does not use his athleticism in a functional way. There is no doubt that Doncic has the skill level. He is also a better athlete than many give him credit for.

Doncic returned to make his case to be the No. 1 pick in the Euroleague Final Four

No time is too big for Doncic. He showed this during the impressive Slovenian gold medal at Eurobasket last summer. He showed it again in the Final Four of the Euroleague last weekend.

At just 19 years old, on the same court as experienced NBA players 10 years older than him, Doncic was the main force for a championship team. He may not average 25 points per game in the NBA. He will never be the fastest runner or the best jumper. But when you take a step back and think about what Doncic has done at his age, facing a level of competition that goes way beyond college basketball, his accomplishments are truly incredible.

Luka Doncic is a stud. Pbad on him in the NBA draft at your own risk.

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