Luka Doncic's jump from stud to star in only his second season has the league abuzz. But Skip Bayless wants to put a halt to all that. Speaking during Wednesday's Undisputed, Bayless said he doesn't see a superstar in Doncic, citing his fourth quarter failings as the main piece of evidence that Doncic doesn't currently have what it takes to be named among the NBA's elite.
Now, Bayless is not wrong in pointing out that comparing Doncic to Larry Freakin' Bird is ridiculous. Doncic is fun and exciting, but he's not Larry Legend after a season and a half. Nor is he wrong in saying Doncic struggles in the fourth quarter; in the 11 games the Mavs have played where the score is within five points and there are less than five minutes remaining, he's shot only 22 percent from the field, per NBA.com.
There are any number of reasons to explain this (he's averaging only 1.6 field goal attempts in those situations, which is more indicative of the defensive attention he receives than an unwillingness to shoo the rock), but objectively speaking, his effectiveness has decreased drastically in clutch time this year.
But to say that means he's not a superstar is above and beyond. He's averaging 28.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game before he can legally buy an alcoholic beverage in the United States. He's second in the league behind Giannis Antetokounmpo in Box Plus/Minus and fifth in total win shares. His PER of 30 is the most for any non-rotation player in their second season since Anthony Davis posted a 26.5 PER in 2013, and is higher than Shaq's second year in Orlando (28.5), David Robinson's second year in San Antonio (27.4), and LeBron James' second year in Cleveland (25.7).
Pick whatever stat you want, and the company Doncic finds himself in is stacked with superstars. He passes the eye test, too. Doncic is a superstar, bar none.