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Why Luka Doncic’s absence can help the Dallas Mavericks in the long run

Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks will need to formulate a new plan without their 20-year old MVP candidate. This is the perfect opportunity for the Mavericks to now be led by their other European star, Kristaps Porzingis.

The Dallas Mavericks dream season came to a screeching halt early in Saturday night’s game versus the Miami Heat. Luka Doncic had a gruesome looking ankle injury in the first two minutes of the game, ultimately leading to Doncic being ruled out for the rest of the game.

As reports broke later in the night, it seemed as if the Mavericks had dodged a bullet. Luka had a moderate ankle sprain which would sideline him for around two weeks. That timetable seemed like a huge break for the Mavericks and their journey to return to the playoffs.

Life without Luka began, and while it’s always tough to lose your franchise player, it gives everyone else a chance to step up. Unlike most teams, the Mavericks believe they have two young franchise cornerstones. This is the exact scenario for which the Mavericks traded for Kristaps Porzingis last February.

With Luka out, the Mavericks are Kristaps Porzingis team, or at least they have to be if they want to succeed while Luka is on the shelf. Porzingis now has the keys to the offense, a role he thrived in when we last saw him at all-star form.

Over his last four games, Porzingis is averaging 22 points, 11 rebounds and a little over two blocks. With Porzingis’ confidence growing, it will be a welcome sight once number 77 is back along side of him. If both Doncic and Porzingis are playing at their peak, The Mavs will be set to finish off the season strong.

Even though Porzingis will have to lead the charge for the next two weeks, there are two guards who I feel will shine just as bright in Luka’s absence. They are Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry. Both, who in a crowded back court rotation, seem to thrive when they have opportunities.

Doncic has one of the highest usage rates in the NBA. With him out, the Mavericks will be strapped for playmakers. Brunson and Curry both have the ability to not only create for themselves but also find open shots for others.

In the next few weeks, everyone’s role is expanded. The Mavs need more from the entire roster to fill the void with Luka out. This will undoubtedly help in playoff time, when offenses slow down and defenses are allowed to play more physical.

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If the Mavs can get Porzingis playing like an all-star with their bench continuing to flourish, the Mavericks have a legit chance to make a deep playoff run, something very few people believed was possible when the season first began.