Brooklyn Nets superstar guard James Harden offered a high praise for Luka Doncic after the game against the Dallas Mavericks as he said the Mavericks "got a special one" in the Slovenian. Harden, who was named the NBA MVP in 2018, went against Doncic on Saturday night, and though he outscored the Slovenian, the Nets failed to get a win.
The Nets were playing without two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant and starting shooting guard Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks took the advantages of the absences on the Nets side. Harden scored a game-high 29 points, had seven rebounds and six assists but the Nets lost 115-98.
Meanwhile, Doncic scored 27 points, had six rebounds and seven assists. "There are some similarities," Harden said after the Mavs' 115-98 road win snapped the Brooklyn Nets' eight-game winning streak, as quoted on ESPN.
"He never lets anyone speed him up, and he gets what he wants. That's rare for a guy at a young age. I think he's 21 years old. And to be able to dictate the game and control the game like he does, we all know he has a very, very bright future.
"The Mavs got a special one." Harden scored 25 points in the first half but them but scored just four points in the second half. Harden acknowledged that everyone has to play better, starting from himself. "Whoever is in the lineup and suited up has to be better, and that starts with me," Harden said.
Doncic flattered by Harden's comments
Doncic, who is having a big season and he is in the MVP conversation, was thrilled to hear such a high praise from Harden. It's something you can't even describe if somebody like that says something about you," said Doncic, who has previously spoken about studying Harden, specifically his step-back jumper and ability to draw fouls.
"It's just amazing. I really appreciate it. I watch him. He's an unbelievable player and just really special." Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle spoke highly of both Doncic and Harden. "Harden has been in a situation the last few years where the offense has really revolved around him," Carlisle said.
"With our team, it does around Luka similarly, but our style is a little different than Houston and Brooklyn. Both of these guys are generational-type players. There's no question about it."