The Los Angeles Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night in what should be a classic showdown between LeBron James and rookie Luka Doncic.
The Los Angeles Lakers looked great in most stages of the game against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night and have a back-to-back as the team hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
This is the second time that the two sides have squared off with the Lakers netting a one-point victory in Dallas over the Mavericks back on Halloween.
Now, as the calendar gets ready to shift from November to December, the Lakers are coming up against a Mavericks team that is hot; in large part due to the revolutionary rookie, Luka Doncic.
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The Mavericks are 7-1 in the team’s last eight games and Doncic has emerged as the Rookie of the Year candidate, at least in my eyes, over Trae Young in Atlanta. Doncic, who was already putting together an impressive rookie year, has been great over the last eight.
Doncic is averaging 17.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game over his last eight. The Slovenian Swiss Army Knife is shooting 39.1 percent from beyond the arc and 42.5 percent overall in that frame.
We all thought Ben Simmons was a revolutionary rookie last season for the Philadelphia 76ers and Doncic has one-upped the Australian. On Sunday night, the rookie gets his second taste at LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers and it is sure to be an absolute classic.
James is coming off of a great showing over the Indiana Pacers and is going to carry that momentum into Friday night. LeBron had a decent game, in his terms, against the Mavericks earlier in the season with a 29-point effort.
LeBron really seems to get up in front of his home crowd and knowing the hype around Doncic, will likely look to teach the young rookie a thing or two about what it takes to be elite.
Meanwhile, as Laker fans are beginning to see this season, every team gets up when LeBron James is on the opposing team. It is the same thing that happens to the Warriors; it does not matter who you play, each and every opposing team is going to throw their best at you knowing that LeBron is opposite of them.
Doncic and the Mavericks will be no different and Doncic will put together his best performance thus far of his rookie season.
I think this is going to be a shootout that really comes down to who can make the last shot. For both sides, James and Doncic are going to be the ones that take, or create, that open shot that nets their team the win.
It is a shame that this game is not going to be nationally televised because NBA fans are going to see an instant regular season classic.