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The Dallas Mavericks may have to face the Utah Jazz without Luka Doncic

While there is never a good time for an injury, there is certainly a worst and as Luka Doncic and the Mavericks head into their NBA 1st round series with the Utah Jazz, this may just be it.

Paul Rudder
Update:
The Dallas Mavericks may have to face the Utah Jazz without Luka Doncic
Kevin JairajUSA TODAY Sports

While there has been no official word yet, it’s starting to look more and more like the Mavericks star may not be ready in time for Game 1 of the NBA playoffs

Will Luka Doncic be ready for Game 1 of NBA playoffs?

Having already undergone an MRI on Monday afternoon, it was already confirmed that Dallas Mavericks star point guard Luka Doncic has suffered and was subsequently diagnosed with a left calf strain. What was not understood, however, was whether or not said injury would prevent him from playing in the 1st game of the Mavericks’ first round playoff series against the Utah Jazz on Saturday. At present it’s still unknown whether or not that will remain the case, but what is certain is that things don’t look good.

Indeed, sources have stated that their is real skepticism about whether or not Doncic will be able to play when tip off arrives on Saturday at midday against the Jazz . To make matters worse, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski all but confirmed that the injury is more severe than initially thought:

“The Mavericks are very much preparing for the possibility of not only maybe not having [Doncic] in Game 1, but maybe even Game 2 on Monday. If this was the regular season, you wouldn’t even be talking about him possibly playing this weekend,” Wojnarowski said. “I think you can expect him to go down to the wire Friday, Saturday on this. But a great deal of skepticism, concern about how soon he will be available in this playoff series against Utah.”

What happened to Luka Doncic?

It was during their final game of the NBA regular season against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, when Doncic Doncic sustained the injury. At the time, it was the third quarter and the Mavericks were leading by 18 points. In what appeared to be a run-of-the-mill play Doncic drove to the basket and jumped only to land awkwardly after try to make a pass in mid-air. Immediately the Mavericks star could be seen clutching his left calf in visible pain. Doncic would be taken out of the game and did not return.

While Doncic has not been officially ruled out for any part of the playoffs, the injury is understandably a serious blow to a Mavericks playoff hopes. With home-court advantage for the first time since 2011, Dallas was most definitely hoping for a strong start. With Doncic now seemingly a doubt, it will be interesting to see how the team copes without the player who is essentially the focal point of their entire offense. With that said, the Mavericks can be nothing but cautious for the very same reason, Doncic is essential.

What if Luka Doncic can’t play?

Should Doncic be unable to return for Game 1, the Mavericks will have no choice but to turn to Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson to cover the void left by the Slovenian’s absence. Logically, that is quite a big ask, but both been key contributors in the Mavericks march to the playoffs. Dinwiddie specifically has been a breath of fresh air since his deadline trade from the Wizards. From one team to the next, Dinwiddie has gone from 12.6 points per game on 37% from the field and 31% from outside the arc, to 15.8 points on 49.8% from the field and 40%t from long range with the Mavs.

Brunson on the other hand has been equally as impressive this year. In his third season, the guard is averaging a career-highs 16.3 points per game along with 4.8 assists. If that’s not enough, this is the second season in a row that he’s shooting above 50% from the field. Needless to say, should Dallas actually have to do without their star player, Brunson and Dinwiddie will become integral parts of the cause going forward. At this point the Mavericks and Doncic have just three days before they get going against the Jazz and with that, the clock is now ticking.

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