UPDATE, 12/27: Doncic made his return from an ankle sprain Thursday night against the Spurs, scoring 24 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists in the 102-98 victory. His return was welcomed by the Mavs, who were 3-2 without their soon-to-be All-Star leading scorer. It was nice to see Doncic not need any minutes limit in his return, so we should see things go back to normal for him. As a result, his odds to win MVP have dropped significantly, so now may be the time to get in on the line while it’s down. Giannis took a hit with the Bucks’ loss to the Sixers on Christmas Day, so we could see things even out a bit this week.
December 14th, UPDATE: We’ve got some bad news for you Luka Doncic fans. The Mavs star left Saturday’s game early due to an ankle injury and did not return. X-rays came back negative, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Doncic has a moderate ankle sprain, which would likely sideline him. This could mean Doncic will miss time, which could put a dent in the armor of his case for NBA MVP.
Moderate ankle sprain for Doncic, league source tells ESPN. https://t.co/Heq2eiwTbQ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2019
Giannis only missed one game and came back with 37 points to help keep the Bucks’ winning streak alive. Meanwhile, in L.A., LeBron and AD are on a tear lately and both appear to be healthy (though LeBron is questionable Sunday). We’ll keep an eye on the lines to see if there’s any movement in the next couple of days.
December 13th, UPDATE: With the Mavs and Pistons playing in Mexico City, Doncic put on a show for the out-of-town crowd. He also showed off his Spanish speaking abilities from his time playing for Real Madrid. Doncic dropped 41 points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Mavs to the win. It was a new scoring record for an NBA player in Mexico; Devin Booker had previously dropped 39 points in Mexico City. It was his second 40-point triple-double of the season, and fourth 40-point game. With Giannis out of the lineup for the Bucks right now, Doncic could close the gap on the big man for MVP favorite soon.
December 9th, UPDATE: The Mavericks saw their five-game win streak come to an end Sunday against the Kings. Doncic had a decent game, but Dallas was poor defensively and Luka didn’t get much help outside of Tim Hardaway Jr. Still, it seems Doncic is losing a bit of steam after his insane November. He’s shooting just 6-for-28 from long range the past three games and has only scored 30+ points once in five December contests.
December 7th, UPDATE: Doncic and the Mavericks beat up on the Pelicans on Saturday afternoon, winning by nearly 50 points. Doncic helped him stock by scoring 26 points with six rebounds and nine assists. The 19-year-old tied Michael Jordan for the longest streak (18) with at least 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in a game. Dallas is now second in the West behind the Lakers at 16-6.
Luka Dončić has now tied Michael Jordan for the longest streak of games with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists since the NBA/ABA Merger, with 18 straight games.— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) December 7, 2019
Dončić joins Jordan and Oscar Robertson as the only players in @NBA History with such a streak, per @EliasSports. pic.twitter.com/IF6DYj3S6z
The rise of Luka Doncic this season is well documented. The Dallas Mavericks forward is on pace to have a historic season and could be the frontrunner to take home the 2019-20 NBA MVP award.
So far, Doncic is averaging close to a triple-double with 30.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game in 21 contests. He’s also got the Mavericks in the thick of the playoff race in the Western Conference, entering Friday with a 15-6 record, fourth place in the West. If Doncic can keep up his torrid pace and get Dallas back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015-16, then Doncic has as good a chance as any to win MVP.
His competition appears to be Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo, who leads all players with the best odds on DraftKings Sportsbook at +175. It’ll be tough to beat out The Greek Freak considering the Bucks enter Friday on a 13-game winning streak and are in first place in the Eastern Conference. Obviously, James Harden (+450), LeBron James (+700) and Kawhi Leonard (+3300) will all be in the mix as well.