Brandin Podziemski

Luka gives Podz insightful advice on how to read NBA defenses

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Brandin Podziemski was gifted the rare rookie experience of learning behind Warriors superstar Steph Curry.

The young Warriors guard now is taking notes from another NBA phenom playing on the biggest stage in basketball.

As Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks take on the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, Podziemski, sitting front row in the media room at American Airlines Center, picked up a microphone to give the five-time NBA All-Star his flowers before asking him a question about his game.

"Obviously, I'm a big fan of your game and [you are] someone I look up to and model my game after," Podziemski said. "Something that stood out to me is [the Celtics are] making you play a lot of isolation ball, and you do a really good job of using your off arm to get by people but I also think you're really good at creating an advantage and keeping an advantage.

"And you're really good at keeping guys at your hip, it makes the help defender pick and choose what they give up. I just want to ask where you got that from and what's your thought process when you beat your initial defender?"

Dončić, one of the NBA's craftiest players with his ability to get to the paint and finish or play make for his teammates, shared a two-part response.

"First, I just look at how long the guys can be in the paint, the low man," he said. "If it's like two seconds, he's going to go out and I think that's the moment to attack. I'm just trying to read the game. And if he comes, there's going to be a lob open in the corner. if he doesn't, I'll just take the layup."

Simple enough, right?

Not really, but Dončić certainly makes it look that way on the hardwood.

The 6-foot-7 Slovenian star is averaging 29.7 points on 47.3 percent shooting, with nine rebounds, six assists and 2.3 steals in nearly 40 minutes through the first three games of the Finals.

His relentlessness to attack the basket makes opposing defenders' lives a living hell, and Podziemski is interested in taking his game to similar heights.

While Podziemski's shooting and silly meme-worthy celebrations have shades of Curry beneath them, the Warriors and Dub Nation know who to thank if the 21-year-old guard starts dissecting and destroying defenders in the paint.

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