Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler has paid the ultimate compliment to NBA sensation Luka Doncic.
The 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year is in the running for MVP after an incredible start to the season for the Dallas Mavericks.
He is averaging 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game to lead the Mavericks to third in the Western Conference.
Doncic’s streak of 20 games with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists was ended by an ankle injury sustained in the 122-118 overtime defeat to the Heat.
Butler, who recorded 27 points and seven assists in the win, believes Doncic is one of the league’s best players.
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"If I had to watch somebody play and me pay to watch, he goes in that category," Butler said.
Doncic is set for a spell on the sidelines after x-rays indicated a moderate ankle sprain.
Mavericks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr is hopeful the 20-year-old Slovenian is not out for too long.
“Luka is obviously a huge, huge part of this organisaion, this team,” he said. “To see him go down is not easy to see.”
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Mavericks power forward Kristaps Porzingis believes the team’s roster is full of talent that can step up in Doncic’s absence.
"We have a lot of guys that can step up and play well," he said.
"Even without having him in the second half, we made that run and we came back and fought. We were right there to win the game. We had so many opportunities to win the game. That's what frustrating. We've got to keep working."
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