Luka Doncic Scores 24, Powers Mavericks to Win over Trae Young, Hawks

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 12:  Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks passes the ball during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on December 12, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Trae Young and Luka Doncic will be forever linked by their draft-night trade that sent them to their respective cities.

Doncic proved why the Dallas Mavericks banked their future on him Wednesday night.

Doncic scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds and six assists while Harrison Barnes had 25 points, leading the Mavericks to a 114-107 win over the Hawks.

Dallas has reeled off three straight wins and has won eight of its last 10. The Mavs now sit an eye-popping 13-2 at home.

Young had 24 points and 10 assists in one of his best performances of the season. John Collins added 20 points and 17 rebounds.

     

Hawks Will Regret Luka Doncic/Trae Young Swap

For the most part, the Hawks got the good version of Young on Wednesday night. He hit a pair of threes and dropped some sensational passes, almost as if he were trying to prove himself while sharing the floor with Doncic.

If Young can improve and consistently perform at the level he did against the Mavs, the Hawks will have a good player on their hands.

Unfortunately, the Hawks passed up on a foundational superstar to get a possibly good player.

Doncic hasn't been shooting well as of late—Wednesday was his sixth straight game under the 50 percent mark, and he's shooting 31.2 over those contests—but he's found ways to consistently make a positive impact.

In Monday's win against Orlando, it was with his passing and rebounding.

Doncic got to 24 points against the Hawks with his relentless attacking. Anyone who said Doncic couldn't hang in the NBA athletically has gotten a rude awakening all season long. His first step lacks Russell Westbrook-like explosion, but the quickness and brilliance of his "last step" are constantly on display.

It didn't matter who the Hawks threw in his way. Kent Bazemore, DeAndre' Bembry, Kevin Huerter and Dewayne Dedmon (intentionally) all sent Doncic to the free-throw line. At 19 years old, Doncic has a next-level understanding of NBA spacing and is one step ahead regardless of who is defending him.

Young and Doncic are around the same age, but they're in completely different stratospheres as players. Doncic added insult to injury by swatting the bejesus out of a Young layup attempt in the third quarter.

The pick Dallas is sending Atlanta's way gets worse with each passing game. When it looked like the Mavs would dwell at the bottom of the West, the trade was defensible. Young and a potential top-five pick for Doncic? OK, that could work out.

Young and a pick that looks like it will be—at best—a late lottery selection in a weak draft? That's already a losing bet in a major way.

     

What's Next?

The Hawks travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Friday. The Suns host the Mavericks on Thursday.

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