While Luka Doncic admits the very best basketball players in the world play in the NBA, the superstar guard believes scoring in the league is much easier than it is in European.
If anyone knows about scoring at the highest levels of basketball it is Doncic. The Dallas Mavericks player has been one of the best in the NBA since he entered the league as a 19-year-old in 2018. That has only been solidified over the last few years after three straight All-Star game appearances. It makes his opinion pretty relevant when talking about the offensive side of NBA play.
- Luka Doncic stats (2021): 28.0 PPG, 9.3 REB, 8.6 AST
That is why some recent comments he made during an appearance on The Old Man and the Three with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter podcast are pretty interesting. Before he became a star in the NBA. The Slovenian played for four years with the Spanish basketball team Read Madrid. Competing for the team in the Euroleague and Liga ACB.
Luka Doncic explains why scoring in the NBA is easier than other leagues
Unlike most of the players in the NBA, he has expert knowledge of how the game is played in the US and Europe. And despite the very best talent going toe-to-toe in the NBA, he says the American league game is much easier to score in than their European counterparts.
“European basketball is more team basketball, more tactics basketball. But it’s very different because the court is smaller, the fouls are different, the rules are different,” Doncic explained. “… Everything’s different. And you have less time. But just playing in the NBA, you have guys they’re almost impossible to guard. And that’s why the NBA is way tougher to play in. I always say scoring is easier in the NBA, just because of the amount of the different rules, the less space, the time, so that’s why I said it.”
While it may come as a surprise to younger fans, who might assume the NBA would have the most difficult level of play in all facets of the game, the league has changed a great deal over the last 20 years. The physicality of play in the 1990s and back has been mostly removed. Hand checking is a thing of the past and what was once seen as a clean but “hard foul” is likely to land a flagrant foul or technical today. It has all been to make the game more exciting and have higher point totals.
However, the European game is modeled more on what NBA ball used to be, and based on Doncic’s comments, seems to more closely resemble NCAA basketball currently.
The Mavericks return on the NBA games today schedule to face the Hornets in Charlotte at 7 PM ET.