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Luka Doncic is about to become an NBA player Kemoko Turay Color Rush Jersey , though he’s unlike the other top prospects who will be drafted.
He’s already a pro. He’s already a champion.
And he might just be the most accomplished and intriguing player in this class.
After capping his brilliant stay in Spain with another title, the Slovenian guard heads the list of international players expected to be selected Thursday, a teenager whose resume is already more complete than even some of the most season veterans.
”He may be the most accomplished European teenager to ever come into the draft,” ESPN draft analyst Jay Bilas said. ”You know, there’s very little that is unknown about him. He’s not some workout wonder that people are projecting. He’s accomplished things, and he has been seen in 5-on-5 against high-level competition for a number of years. He’s played professional basketball since he was 13.”
Doncic couldn’t join Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and the other headliners in New York on Wednesday because he was en route from Spain after finishing off his dream season by helping Real Madrid win its ACB league championship Tuesday. The 6-foot-7 guard made a 3-pointer off one leg with the shot clock running down and Real Madrid clinging to a three-point lead, and his team held on to win the series in four games and allow him to get to Barclays Center in time for Thursday’s festivities, rather than stay behind for a Game 5.
He had already been the MVP of both the Euroleague season and its Final Four, the youngest player ever to win both honors, as Real Madrid won that title as well.
”I’m speechless Josey Jewell Color Rush Jersey ,” he told the team’s website after Tuesday’s victory. ”It has been the season of my life. It’s incredible.”
The Phoenix Suns have the No. 1 pick and are widely expected to draft Arizona center Deandre Ayton, even though new coach Igor Kokoskov coached Doncic last summer on the Slovenian national team that won the nation’s first EuroBasket gold medal.
Then it’s Sacramento, Atlanta, Memphis and Dallas, and any of them could consider a player who’s only 19 but has been playing against some of the toughest competition outside the NBA for years. And while there may always be some skepticism of European players because Darko Milicic bombed so badly after being taken right behind LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade 15 years ago, it would be a surprise if Doncic failed after all he’s already done.
”He should easily transition to the league really well,” Miami guard Lonnie Walker IV said. ”I mean, look at what he’s doing in the Euroleague. You’ve got to respect what he’s doing. You can’t say he’s not good and he’s the MVP and everything of that spot. So pay respect where it’s due. He’s a great player. All you can say is tell him to continue to work hard and prove everyone that’s doubting him wrong.”
Even with Ayton, a native of the Bahamas, and Doncic at the top of the list of international candidates Authentic Isac Lundestrom Jersey , the strength of this draft is at the college level. Power programs such as Duke (Bagley and Wendell Carter Jr.), Michigan State (Jaren Jackson Jr. and Miles Bridges), national champion Villanova (Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo) and Kentucky (Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) could have multiple players taken in the top 10-15 selections of the two-round draft, and teams looking for point guards could choose between freshmen Trae Young of Oklahoma and Collin Sexton of Alabama.
They could give the NBA a second straight strong rookie class, after Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and 2016 No. 1 pick Ben Simmons of Philadelphia all helped their teams advance to at least the second round of the postseason.
”I think it’s a transformational class,” Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. said. ”I think we’ve got a lot of different kinds of players: Deandre, Marvin, the big dudes who are special, and then me along with a couple other wings who can do a lot of different things, and then point guard http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-albert-wilson-jersey , Trae, Collin Sexton, and then I heard that Luka dude – I ain’t seen much on him but I heard he’s special, too. So I think we’re a great draft, one of the best in a while.”
OAKLAND, Calif. — Two teams that could be first-round opponents in the upcoming NBA playoffs square off Saturday night when the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors (57-22) are locked into the No. 2 seeding in the Western Conference. They will have the home-court advantage against the seventh seed in the first round starting next weekend.
The Pelicans (45-34), meanwhile, are among six teams battling for the final five playoff spots in the West. They will begin the day Saturday tied with San Antonio (45-34) and Oklahoma City (45-34) for fifth place, with Minnesota (45-35) and Denver (44-35) close behind.
One of the five won’t make the postseason.
New Orleans, which is seeking its first playoff spot since 2015, will be playing the second day of a back-to-back Johnny Townsend Color Rush Jersey , having won 122-103 at Phoenix on Friday.
The Pelicans have lost three straight to Golden State this season by an average of 11 points.
New Orleans has a tough finishing schedule. The Pelicans will visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, then host San Antonio in a game that could have huge playoff implications on Wednesday.
In a virtual must-win against their final weak opponent, the Pelicans took care of business on Friday night, riding 33 points from Anthony Davis and 31 from Nikola Mirotic without burning any starter for more than 35 minutes.
Davis has averaged 30.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in two straight wins for the Pelicans after they had slipped in the playoff chase with four consecutive losses.
The Most Valuable Player candidate insisted recently that having meaningful games in April is enjoyable.
“I haven’t been to the playoffs in three years,” he noted. “This whole process is fun for me and the whole team, knowing that we, one, control our own destiny, and, two, have a chance to go in the playoffs and make some noise.”
New Orleans could certainly help its chances and send a message at the same time with a win Saturday. The Warriors have dominated the matchup http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ronnie-harrison-jersey , winning 10 straight and 20 of 21.
And that doesn’t count the 2015 playoffs, when the Warriors swept the Pelicans in four straight.
This time around, the Warriors almost surely will open their first series without star point guard Stephen Curry, who is out with a sprained MCL. He is scheduled for a re-examination on the eve of the start of the playoffs next week.
The Warriors have had their other three All-Stars — Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green — healthy for their last four games. But while they’ve won three of those four, coach Steve Kerr was especially bothered by a 126-106 drubbing his club suffered Thursday night at Indiana, labeling the effort “pathetic.”
Veteran Shaun Livingston agreed.
“We’ve got to be better,” he said. “Tonight, we were off. But we can’t be off as far as our effort, our intensity. That’s what we’re playing for going into the playoffs.”
The Warriors do have one piece of unfinished business in the regular season. They are currently tied with Toronto (57-22) for the second-best record in the league.
Regular-season records would determine the home-court advantage should the Warriors and Raptors meet in the NBA Finals.