Luka Doncic and Terance Mann are not two players that fans would put in the same category, but there have been sparks between the duo in past matchups. On the face of it, both are quite different. Mann is an older prospect that has been in the league for 3 seasons, fighting to establish himself in a starting role for the Los Angeles Clippers. With both of their stars injured last season, Mann averaged over 10 points per game, showing he has what it takes to thrive at this level.
Luka Doncic, though, is arguably already a Top 5 player in the league. He has been selected to the All-NBA First Team 3 out of his 4 seasons in the league and has made history with a few of his performances. However, despite that and his MJ-like playoff displays, Doncic has lost to the Los Angeles Clippers, Mann's team, in 2020 and 2021 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Both series have been feisty, and in 2021 in particular, Luka and Mann got into it a few times. The difference in caliber doesn't seem to affect Mann, who is quite a confident player. He spoke about the potential rivalry between them to Bally Sports, downplaying it.
“I wouldn’t say we’re rivals,” Mann said. “It’s all on-court stuff, fun and games. I think we’re out there making each other better. Just out there battling and getting under each other’s skin, and that’s part of the game.”
The Clippers may have struggled to deliver on the promise they showed when they acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but they have every opportunity to flip the script and go all the way next season, especially with the addition of Wall. If Mann can take another leap, that would also be a huge asset for the team. And considering that he was just in the Western Conference Finals, they will likely have to beat Luka Doncic to get there as well.