June 13, 2024

Luka Doncic latest to reach first NBA Finals with stacked résumé

Luka Doncic will make his NBA Finals debut on Thursday night time (8:30 ET, ABC), when the Dallas Mavericks face the Boston Celtics.

The Mavericks guard leads the postseason in factors (489), rebounds (164) and assists (150). That makes him the first participant to lead in all three classes heading right into a Finals in NBA historical past.

At 25 years previous, Doncic’s particular person accolades are spectacular. He has 5 All-Star appearances and 5 All-NBA first-team nods. But a significant blemish was his lack of success within the postseason. He had reached the Western Conference finals solely as soon as prior to this season.

Doncic joins a choose group of gamers with not less than 5 All-Star and 5 All-NBA first-team honors earlier than making their NBA Finals debut.

Here’s a take a look at how these stars fared of their first championship spherical.

Karl Malone, Utah Jazz, 1997

Finals stats: 23.8 factors, 10.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals

Series outcome: 4-2 loss to the Chicago Bulls

Malone already was a 10-time All-Star with 9 All-NBA first-team appearances earlier than his first NBA Finals. The 1996-97 season additionally resulted in Malone’s first Most Valuable Player award.

But sadly for Malone, he ran right into a Bulls crew, led by Michael Jordan, on the lookout for its second consecutive title. Utah misplaced Games 1 and a couple of, however evened the sequence behind robust performances from Malone. He had 37 factors and 10 rebounds in Game 3, adopted by 23 and 10 in Game 4.

Chicago would shut the sequence out in six; Malone had 21 factors on 46.7% taking pictures within the deciding loss.

Finals stats: 27.3 factors, 13.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.2 steals

Series outcome: 4-2 loss to the Chicago Bulls

Similar to Malone, Barkley received his first MVP the identical yr he reached his first Finals, then misplaced to the Bulls in six video games.

The Suns star was a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA first-team member coming into the sequence. Prior to 1993, Barkley had reached the convention finals solely as soon as in six profession playoff appearances.

Phoenix fell behind 3-1 towards Chicago, despite the fact that Barkley had 42 factors in Game 2 and a 32-point triple-double in Game 4. Barkley had 21 factors on 38.9% taking pictures and 17 rebounds within the Suns’ Game 6 loss because the Bulls accomplished their three-peat.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 1991

Finals stats: 31.2 factors, 6.6 rebounds, 11.4 assists, 2.8 steals

Series outcome: 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Lakers

Jordan’s bumpy street to his first NBA Finals has been effectively documented.

He did not advance previous the semifinals till 1989, then had back-to-back Eastern Conference finals losses in 1989 and 1990. With two MVPs, 5 All-NBA first-team nods and 7 All-Star appearances, the Bulls star lastly bought over the hump in 1991.

The stage wasn’t too huge for Jordan towards the Lakers. Even although Chicago misplaced the sequence opener, he dominated with 36 factors, 12 assists, 8 rebounds and three steals. Jordan had three extra double-doubles within the sequence because the Bulls dealt with the Lakers in 5 video games.

Finals stats: 23.5 factors, 5.0 rebounds, 9.5 assists

Series outcome: 4-0 win over the Baltimore Bullets

The Big O had a memorable begin to his profession. He made 9 straight appearances on the All-NBA first crew, paired with an MVP and Rookie of the Year award. Robertson dominated with the Cincinnati Royals however by no means reached the Finals till the Milwaukee Bucks acquired him in 1970.

Paired with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then generally known as Lew Alcindor, Robertson helped the Bucks win their first NBA championship. Then an 11-time All-Star, he had 30 factors and 9 assists within the series-clinching win.

Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics, 1957

Finals stats: 20.7 factors, 6.7 rebounds, 9.1 assists

Series outcome: 4-3 win over the St. Louis Hawks

1957 was a memorable yr for Cousy. He received his first MVP, made his seventh All-Star look and earned his sixth All-NBA first-team nod. But most significantly, Cousy reached the Finals for the first time.

The Celtics star averaged 46 minutes per sport within the Finals and recorded a double-double twice. In Game 7, Cousy performed a whopping 58 minutes in a double-overtime win, serving to the Celtics seize their first championship.