Heating up! Luka Doncic’s rise into the top 5 of NBA 2K20 player ratings among the fastest in recent memory

NBA 2K20 players who were lucky enough to land Luka Doncic on their rosters are feeling good right about now.

Like, really good.

Doncic was already considered a great in-game asset before this season began. The Mavericks’ second-year small forward and last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year was loaded into the popular league simulation title with an overall rating (OVR) of 87 on launch day (Sept. 6).

The video game developers at 2K assign each NBA player a fluid rating that can change as updates and patches for the game are released. Basketball fans who purchase the game can then use those ratings to make decisions about who they would like to take charge of in a variety of different game modes, including online play.

An 87 OVR is nothing to sniff at, for sure. In fact, that rating placed Doncic just outside the top 20 in the league when the game was released.

But Doncic’s average of 30.3 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game and 9.2 assists per game through 21 contests is at another level — both in this reality, and virtual reality, too.

NBA 2K20′s third ratings update was released on Friday, and the game devs gave Luka credit for his MVP-like pace.

Doncic’s rating has increased by three points in each of the ratings updates this season, including the most recent. He now has a 96 OVR, tied with Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant for fourth overall in the game.

LeBron James, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo covered the top three spots with a 97 OVR.

Not only is Doncic’s +9 OVR this season meteoric, but also how much he’s improved since his first appearance in the series. Rookie Doncic was originally given a 79 OVR in NBA 2K19, or last year’s installment of the game.

That +17 OVR in 93 career games has to be among the quickest rises in series history, though there’s no way of knowing for sure.

What we’ve learned? Rookie Doncic was vastly underrated.

For some further context, Dirk Nowitzki’s highest rating in the current iteration of the series (where OVR is fluid and updatable) came in NBA 2K15 and 2K16 — an 88. Dirk’s highest rating in older installments with non-fluid OVR was 97 (NBA 2K7). The highest rating possible is 99.

Doncic has already rocketed past Dirk’s 88 and come close to tying his highest OVR ever.

Dirk shouldn’t feel too bad about that. He was reloaded into this year’s NBA 2K as a playable NBA legend.

His OVR? 98.

Kristaps Porzingis’ rating did not change in the latest update, though he did drop two points in the second update released three weeks ago. His OVR is currently 85.

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young — who seems destined to be perennially compared to Doncic for reasons that should be obvious — was snubbed by the game devs and did not improve this update. His OVR is currently 89.

Doncic is nowhere close to the prime of his career. 2K may eventually need to extend its rating scale past 99 to accommodate him.

Basketball fans and gamers took notice of Doncic’s quick in-game rise — some think he deserves it, while others think it’s an overreaction to a pace he can’t possibly sustain.

Here’s a sample of the reaction:



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