A postseason like almost none other for Luka Doncic, even without a title

Mon, Jun 17, 2024
NBA News (AP)

A postseason like almost none other for Luka Doncic, even without a title

Luka Doncic's first trip to the NBA Finals didn't result in his first championship. That said, the Dallas star most definitely left his mark on these playoffs.

Doncic finished the postseason as the NBA's leader in points (635), rebounds (208) and assists (178).

He's only the second player in NBA history to finish the postseason as the leader in all three of those categories. It also happened last year - when Denver's Nikola Jokic pulled off the feat.

"I'm proud of every guy that stepped on the floor, all the coaches, all the people behind (the scenes)," Doncic said. "Obviously, we didn't win the finals, but we did have a hell of a season and I'm proud of every one of them."

Doncic also joined another very small club, that being players to score 3,000 points in a single season. His 28 points on Monday in the season's finale, Game 5 against the Boston Celtics, gave him 3,005 this season, including the playoffs.

He became the 11th player to do that. Michael Jordan had 10 such seasons, Wilt Chamberlain had five and nine other players - Bob McAdoo, Elgin Baylor, James Harden, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Rick Barry, Shaquille O'Neal and now Doncic - have each done it once.

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Holiday History

Boston's Jrue Holiday won an NBA title in 2021, then won an Olympic gold medal later that summer. He's got a chance to do it again.

Holiday and Boston teammate Jayson Tatum will be part of USA Basketball's squad at the Paris Games, with camp starting early next month in Las Vegas.

Holiday could be the third player to win an NBA or WNBA title, and then an Olympic or FIBA World Cup gold medal, in the same calendar year on more than one occasion. Sue Bird did it three times and Scottie Pippen did it twice.

Celtics Record

Boston's 16-3 record in these playoffs represents the 10th-best postseason mark by a team in NBA history.

The top of that list: Golden State was 16-1 in 2017, the Los Angeles Lakers were 15-1 in 2001 and Philadelphia was 12-1 in 1983.

Also ahead of Boston's run this season: the 1999 San Antonio Spurs, 1991 Chicago Bulls and 1989 Detroit Pistons (all 15-2), the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks and 1982 Lakers (both 12-2) and the 1950 Lakers, then in Minneapolis (11-2).

The previous best playoff record in Celtics history was 15-3, done in the 1986 postseason.

Back On Top

Move over, Lakers. Boston is back atop the NBA's all-time list for most titles won.

The Los Angeles Lakers' latest championship - in the bubble in 2020 - pulled the franchise into a tie with the Celtics for the most in NBA history, 17 apiece.

The Celtics beat the Lakers in the 1963 NBA Finals, giving Boston its sixth title to the Lakers' five. And for the next 57 years, the Celtics remained alone atop the list of most championships.

When the 1986 season ended, Boston had 16 titles to L.A.'s nine. The championship count since is Lakers 8, Celtics 2 - good enough to give the Celtics sole possession of the No. 1 spot again.

Still Waiting

After 186 playoff games in his career, Al Horford is finally a champion - and finally off a list that he probably didn't aspire to be part of.

No active player had appeared in more playoff games without a championship than Horford, the Celtics' center.

Now that he's off the list, the new leaders in playoff games played without winning their first title yet are James Harden (166), Chris Paul (149) and Russell Westbrook (122).

Nice Check

The Celtics' players (and probably some staff) are going to get a nice check for winning the title.

Boston's share of the NBA's playoff pool is $12,059,435. That's the most a team has ever won from the postseason pile of bonus money, which was a record $33,657,947 this season.

Some of that gets distributed to each of the 16 playoff teams. Dallas' share was $5,899,422.

The bonus pool is typically split in some way among players and staff from the playoff teams.

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TIM REYNOLDS Reynolds is an Associated Press sports writer, based in South Florida. twitter mailto "
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