Playing Luka Feels Like Playing Against LeBron


Playing basketball against Luka Doncic seems to be extremely difficult. Despite this, the Golden State Warriors were able to keep the Dallas Mavericks‘ star from imposing his will on Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals en route to a 112-87 win — Doncic scored 20 points, reeled in seven rebounds, dished out four assists, and committed seven turnovers in 35 minutes of work.

Perhaps one reason why Golden State was able to bottle him up is the amount of experience they have going against LeBron James in the playoffs. During the most recent episode of his podcast, Draymond Green gave some insight into how going up against Doncic is similar to going up against James, who the Warriors played in the NBA Finals each year from 2015-18.

“One of the main, glaring similarities that stick out at you is how those two guys can manipulate a defense, how those two guys can control the pace of a game,” Green said. “At their size, with their passing ability and the way they can put pressure on the rim, and pressure on the defense, and with the vision that they have, they’re a lot alike.”


Green said Doncic is one of the few players who can control a game like the two of them, but pointed out some major differences. James, he believes, likes to push in transition, while Doncic only looks to do that if he can get a “complete runout.” He also says that Doncic wants to “look for his shot a little bit more than LeBron,” while James is “more often than not pass-first.”

At the end of the day, though, Green can see the influence James had on Doncic’s game.

“It feels a lot like playing against LeBron,” Green said, “playing against Luka every possession.”

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