As the NBA season unfolds, Luka Dončić’s performance has been nothing short of spectacular, and his statistics position him as a top contender for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. In this article, we’ll look at how Dončić’s numbers not only demonstrate his elite status but also make a compelling case for his MVP candidacy.
A bulk of Luka’s MVP case is his elevated scoring and elevated efficiency all on a team that is winning at a high rate.
In the current season, Dončić is averaging 31.9 points per game over the 20 games, a mark that not only surpasses his previous sensational seasons. His scoring volume is supported by a highly efficient 48.8% field goal shooting, his second best. And he is posting career highs in Three Point Percentage 38.2% and Free Three Percentage of 76.7% which has been a weakness of his in the past. And he is posting career highs in Three Point Percentage 38.2% and Free Three Percentage of 76.7% which has been a weakness of his in the past.
The graphic below shows his career game level distributions for Field Goal Percentage, Three Point Percentage, and Free Throw Percentage. On the graphic the vertical line shows his 2023 campaign season average. So you can see that in all three panes his 2023 average shooting percentages are impressive.
But Luka isn’t just a scorer; he’s an important playmaker for the team and a capable rebounder. Last year he had a focus on scoring, as the team had a lot of injuries and began to unravel. But this year his assists have bumped back to his career plateaus of 8.65 per game. This year they have additional rebounding help with Derek Lively, so his rebounds have taken a slight dip. But even so he still average 8.35 per game.
Luka’s statistics place him among the top players. His scoring and assisting numbers are on par with, and exceed other MVP candidates, which I’ll demonstrate later this season.
The graphic below shows that his field goal percentages. The left blue pane is his career, minus this current season. And the one on this right his this current 2023 campaign. You can see this year he’s not having nearly any poor Field Goal Percentage games, as he has sometimes had in his career. The lowest he’s having this year is around .5%.
All this efficiency, all the while he’s scoring at a higher volume. The graphic below shows that he’s on track for the top scoring year of his career, all while holding career percentage figures on Threes and Free Throws, while FGs are consistent with career averages.
Luka Dončić’s scoring efficiency, improved shooting percentages, and consistent playmaking, combined with Mavericks’ a team that is winning and much improved from last year should have him as a frontrunner in the MVP race. As the season progresses, it will be intriguing to see how Dončić continues to shape his narrative in the MVP conversation.
What do you think? Will Luka win the MVP this year?