The Smoking Cuban

Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic (back) out versus Pacers

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks took the court short-handed on Friday night when they hosted the Indiana Pacers. Superstar Luka Doncic was ruled out before tipoff with back tightness. The Mavs two new acquisitions in J.J. Redick and Nicolo Melli were not with the team yet. Willie Cauley-Stein and Tyrell Terry remained out, leaving Dallas with just 12 healthy players.

The massive news was Doncic being sidelined. The Mavs are on the first night of a back-to-back as they travel to New Orleans to face the Pelicans on Saturday. Dallas wants to be cautious with their 22-year-old superstar, especially with a heavy slate of important games on the horizon. Perhaps, the back troubles could help explain Luka’s lackluster performance in the Mavericks win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday.

How will the Mavs adjust on March 26 without Doncic? Will they attempt to play the matchups against the Pacers? Let us take a closer look.

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How will Dallas Mavericks adjust without Luka Doncic on March 26?

The Mavs had four players out in the health and safety protocols for the first meeting against the Pacers this season. Dallas won with a fantastic team-effort lead by Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. Luka had a triple-double, but only 12 points as Indiana tried hard to force the ball out of his hands. The Mavs will need both KP and THJ to step up their scoring on Friday night.

Expect Jalen Brunson to draw the start for Luka and take over his minutes. They will use Trey Burke as the backup point guard on March 26. Both will need to help Dallas get into their sets and keep the ball moving without the team’s top playmaker.

The Dallas Mavericks will also need more offensive production from Josh Richardson. If all five players step up, they will top the Indiana Pacers at the American Airlines Center on Friday night. Be sure to tune in and enjoy the game.

Next. Grading the J.J. Redick trade