The Dallas Mavericks were really hoping franchise star Luka Doncic would be ready to roll for Game 1 of their playoff series with the Utah Jazz on Saturday, but it’s not going to happen. Per Shams, the Mavs All-Star will miss the opening game due to his calf strain.
Mavericks star Luka Doncic is expected to miss Game 1 vs. Jazz on Saturday night due to strained calf, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
The latest regarding Doncic: https://t.co/bEFYKs2gmk
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 14, 2022
This is exactly what Doncic and the Mavs didn’t want. Luka is literally the backbone of this team’s offense and although they do have some very solid role players around him, their ultimate success comes down to the Slovenian sniper.
Doncic injured his calf in the season finale last Sunday and limped off in pain. He’s been getting around-the-clock treatment ever since, but it won’t be enough to allow him to suit up. The MRI did come back negative, but these types of injuries take time.
The Mavs were heading into this matchup as a favorite, but with Doncic’s status for the rest of the series unknown, the tables have turned. Spencer Dinwiddie, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and others will need to step up in a big way in the absence of Luka. Both Brunson and Dinwiddie really elevated their play when Doncic was sidelined at times this season, which is a positive sign.
Game 2 is set for Monday in Dallas. Let’s pray Luka could potentially be ready.