Tokyo Olympics: Luka Doncic 'dominating the Games like no player in 30 years'

By Sports Desk July 29, 2021

Luka Doncic is breaking new ground with his performances for Slovenia at the Olympic Games, according to Japan coach Julio Lamas.

Slovenia have two wins from two in Pool C, with Doncic dominating against both Argentina and, on Thursday, hosts Japan.

The Dallas Mavericks superstar had 48 points on his Games debut and added 25 more in the 116-81 defeat of Japan, as well as seven rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals.

These performances follow on from another outstanding NBA season, in which Doncic scored 27.7 points per game in the regular season – sixth-most in the league – and improved further in the playoffs.

Doncic's only two postseason series to date have been defeats to the Los Angeles Clippers, but he has now averaged 33.5 points in 13 games – no player in the history of the NBA has scored more per game in 13 career playoff games or more.

The 22-year-old's immense talent has translated superbly to the international stage, too, with Lamas describing Slovenia as "a very complete team with one amazing player". They have won all 15 games he has played for his country in all competitions.

"Doncic is one of the best four or five players in the world right now, even in the NBA," Lamas said.

"But he plays very comfortable in FIBA with the spaces and the rules – he dominates, too. Some other NBA players feel uncomfortable sometimes in FIBA. He is not.

"It's not easy to have a plan [against Doncic] because he is excellent in all the game situations. He can score driving, shooting or post-up and he creates the game for all the other players.

"I don't see in the last 30 years one player dominate the game like he has in this tournament.

"It's not nice [to face Doncic]. When you lose, you're never happy. But I think it's a good experience to play one time against him. I will remember."

Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez, the last man to attempt to halt Doncic, described him as "the best player in the world", and his Slovenia team-mates agreed after another show of strength.

"He's our leader," said Jaka Blazic. "For me, he's the best player at the Olympics and also in the world. We just follow him, everybody knows his role and that's important in a winning team."

Zoran Dragic, who played with Doncic's father Sasa for Slovan, added: "It's crazy, because when I was playing I was playing with his father, too, he was like six, seven years old, and now he's one of the best players in the world.

"I'm happy that I can witness and play with him. He's such an awesome guy and, especially, it's so easy to play with him because he is just an unbelievable person and basketball player. We can be all happy that he's Slovenian."

Related items

  • Pochettino unsure on severity of Neymar injury Pochettino unsure on severity of Neymar injury

    Mauricio Pochettino hopes that Neymar has not sustained a serious injury, though conceded the images he has seen of the incident do not look good.

    Neymar had to be taken off on a stretcher late on after suffering an ankle injury in Paris Saint-Germain's win over Saint-Etienne on Sunday, shortly after Angel Di Maria had made it 2-1 to the Ligue 1 leaders.

    Marquinhos then headed in his second goal of the game to round off a difficult 3-1 victory, though focus was on Neymar's injury in Pochettino's post-match media duties.

    Neymar was pictured leaving the ground on crutches and while hopeful the forward will make a swift recovery, Pochettino explained PSG must wait for a full diagnosis on Monday.

    "There is nothing more to say for the moment, it is the pain he felt in the leg with his ankle that turned. We will have the exams tomorrow and we will see," Pochettino told a news conference.

    Pochettino had previously told Amazon Prime: "We will have to see this tomorrow but from the images, I hope that it's not a big deal and that he will be back with the squad quickly. But the action is not good."

    Neymar subsequently posted an update to his official Instagram account.

    "Let's recover, unfortunately these setbacks are part of an athlete's life," he wrote. "Now that's what you have, lift your head and let's go. I'll come back better and stronger."

    Should Neymar face a lengthy absence, PSG can at least rest assured they can still field a star-studded front three, with Di Maria proving his worth against Saint-Etienne as he scored in successive league appearances for the first time since November 2019.

    PSG also, of course, have Lionel Messi, who provided all three assists in the victory – the third time in his career he has set up three goals in a single league match. 

    At the back, Sergio Ramos made his long-awaited bow, becoming PSG's oldest debutant since David Beckham in 2013.

    Denis Bouanga put Saint-Etienne ahead, meaning PSG came back to win after conceding the opening goal for the fifth time in Ligue 1 this season, already equalling their best tally for comeback victories in a full season, set four times before (2014-15, 2011-12, 2003-04, 1985-86).

  • Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Gundogan and Fernandinho on target as Pep's men go back second Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Gundogan and Fernandinho on target as Pep's men go back second

    Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho were on target as Manchester City moved back into second in the Premier League with a comfortable 2-1 home win over West Ham.

    The defending champions made light of the difficult wintry conditions at the Etihad Stadium, where the visitors have now won just once in 16 top-flight visits.

    Gundogan was on target in a first half where Riyad Mahrez had a strike ruled out, while the Hammers – who have now suffered back-to-back league defeats – were put to rest when Fernandinho netted late on with Manuel Lanzini's goal proving a mere consolation.

    Pep Guardiola's 10th top-flight win in 11 attempts against West Ham means City move level on points with leaders Chelsea, albeit that may prove brief as the Blues host Manchester United later on Sunday.

    Aymeric Laporte headed onto the right-hand post in the opening stages before Mahrez was adjudged to be offside from Raheem Sterling's pass after he had powered past Lukasz Fabianski.

    City broke the deadlock when Gundogan bundled Mahrez's low cross home, with Ben Johnson then required to clear Gabriel Jesus' effort off the line and Mahrez cannoning against the woodwork in a flurry of first-half chances.

    The hosts almost doubled their lead after the interval through Jesus, who saw another chipped attempt cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell, while Sterling blasted wildly over after the hour mark.

    Jesus then teed up Fernandinho to slot into the bottom-left corner to make sure of the result with Bernardo Silva seeing another ruled out prior to Lanzini curling perfectly past Ederson to at least half the arrears for West Ham.

  • Milan 1-3 Sassuolo: Rossoneri rocked as Scamacca and Berardi punish Pioli's men Milan 1-3 Sassuolo: Rossoneri rocked as Scamacca and Berardi punish Pioli's men

    Domenico Berardi inflicted the final blow as Milan slipped up 3-1 against Sassuolo at San Siro, suffering back-to-back Serie A defeats for the first time since April.

    Alessio Romagnoli's powerful header had been Milan's reward for a strong start, but Gianluca Scamacca's excellent long-range strike and an own goal from the unlucky Simon Kjaer helped mid-table Sassuolo reach the interval with a lead.

    Berardi finished off Milan with a fine goal in the 66th minute, the Italy forward showing his class to outwit Romagnoli before beating Mike Maignan.

    A red card for captain Romagnoli for hauling down Gregoire Defrel with effectively a rugby tackle compounded a bad day for Milan, who began the day level on points with leaders Napoli.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.