• The Sixers beat the Mavs and limited Luka Doncic to below 20 points
  • Sixers coach Doc Rivers made a shocking admission about Doncic
  • The Mavs superstar insisted he just had a bad game

Doc Rivers raved about Luka Doncic’s game in a unique way.

The Philadelphia 76ers handed the Dallas Mavericks their 16th loss of the season on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. It was a one-sided ball game as the Mavs never managed to come close to the Sixers since the first quarter as the home team beat the visitors 111-97.

After the game, Sixers head coach Rivers was asked to comment on Doncic. According to the renowned coach, he has always admired the Slovenian’s playing style.

“I love him, you know I said that three years ago, I jokingly said ‘I had a man crush on him,’” Rivers said of Doncic in his post-game conference. “I love how he plays, I love the joy that he plays with.”

Rivers and his guys did a great job holding down the scoring arsenal of Doncic. The Sixers managed to limit the two-time NBA All-Star to just 19 points in 29 minutes, a figure way behind his 26 points per game average this season.

For Rivers, his players were able to keep Doncic out of the paint, but the fact of the matter is that the Mavs superstar can really dominate even the biggest players on the floor.

“It’s interesting he [Doncic] plays at such a great pace, he is no hurry,” the 2000 NBA Coach of the Year pointed out. “He knows he’s bigger and stronger than most of the guys that are guarding him. He’s bigger and stronger than most of the fives [centers] that are coming to help [the defense] and he plays through them as well.”

Doc Rivers
Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers motions to officials during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 4, 2019. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Ultimately, Rivers enjoys watching not just Doncic but also the new breed of players who stand out in today’s NBA such as Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball.

“There’s a group of guys now that I love seeing,” Rivers said of Doncic and Ball. “They come in and they not only are great players but they bring joy to the game as well. And I’ve always thought that that’s a good thing for all of us.”

Much of the credit in the Sixers’ tremendous defense on the Mavs was handed to the team’s All-Star forward Ben Simmons. However, Doncic insisted that the Sixers game was just one of his bad nights and the defender had nothing to do with it.

"I don't really pay attention to who's on me,” Doncic told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I just try to play my game. Sometimes I'm gonna play it better, sometimes worse. ”