DALLAS – Like so many others in the NBA coaching profession, Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone holds Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Luka Doncic in high regard.
“Yeah, he’s a special talent,” Malone said prior to Friday night’s Mavs-Nuggets game. “Here’s a guy that has come in as a rookie and if you watched him prior to his NBA career, he was doing things at a young age in the EuroLeague that no one’s ever done.
“So, this is just kind of par for the course for Luka. No stage is too big for him.”
Doncic, of course, missed Friday’s game with a sore right ankle and is listed as day-to-day. And although Malone’s squad didn’t have to deal with the Mavs’ rookie phenom, that didn’t stop the Nuggets coach from drawing an analogy between Doncic and a couple of players from years past.
“He has a flair about his game that reminds you of a Pistol Pete, Jason Williams,” Malone said. “His passing ability is phenomenal.
“He’s a guy that you like watching and his ability to play pick-and-roll, find the open man, hit big shots, he plays like a guy that’s not an NBA rookie and I think that speaks to his ability to play at such a high level over in Europe and even leading his country to the European Championship a few years ago. Very, very bright future and Dallas has a great player on their hands.”