When you think about the most important NBA attribute, what comes to mind? Could it be 3 point shooting? What about height? Or how about great strength? All of these are great qualities of awesome NBA stars, but did you think about how important IQ could be?
Having a great IQ is what separates the good players from the great players. A perfect example is Larry Bird. Bird was far from the most athletic player in his time. Sure, he was a great shooter in his era, but he took just under two 3 pointers a game.
However, from just watching him play, anyone could tell he was different from the 9 other guys on the court. One could tell that Bird was seeing the play happen before everyone else was. This was evident in his great court vision and his smart shot taking.
He was the smartest player on the court at all times despite being one of the least athletic. Bird averaged just over 24 points per game and 6 assists for his career.
Is there anyone of that caliber in the NBA today? Of course, none other than Luka Doncic. I had the privilege of seeing him play live in Boston back in November and I will tell you first hand, TV does not do him any justice.
The angles that some of his passes were fitting through were remarkable. The next time Luka and the Mavericks go through your city, I highly recommend going out to see them.
Anyways, it is evident that Doncic sees the game before everyone else does. That is one of the defining qualities of a “high IQ” player. Luka is not the most athletic, but he always knows the right time to use a certain dribble move or to throw a pump fake. It appears that he has eyes in the back of his head with some of his passes.
What really makes Luka deadly is his ability to do everything on the offensive side of the ball at just the age of 21.
His great size gives him the ability to post up and score over smaller defenders. If he is defended by a bigger defender, he can manipulate them with an array of simple yet effective dribble moves, or blow right by them. If his defender is sagging off of him, he has the ability to hit a shot from anywhere. When the defense sends a double team, he can read where his teammate will be and hit him for an easy basket.
Barring any unlikely career-ending injury, NBA fans are in for a treat with watching the career of Luka Doncic.