The Dallas Mavericks will not have superstar Luka Doncic as they open their first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz. Doncic suffered a calf strain in the regular-season finale and could be on the sidelines for multiple games. The Mavs will be cautious with the 23-year-old superstar, and they see no need to risk further injury.
Luka is the team’s offensive engine and one of the best players in the NBA, so winning without him will be no easy task. Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie must step up and handle the playmaking duties, but it will take a total team effort for Dallas to win without number 77.
Doncic’s injury changes the matchups against the Jazz. Fans know Luka would have hunted his preferred target on switches and tried to play someone off the floor for the Jazz. JB and Dinwiddie are not as skilled at creating those mismatches, but that does not mean they cannot take advantage of their matchup.
3 matchups to watch in Dallas Mavericks vs. Jazz playoff series without Luka Doncic
Doncic is going to attack Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Rudy Gobert when he returns. He wants each matchup for a specific reason, depending on what players surround them on the court. Expect him to go at Gobert late in games to open up the rim for easy buckets.
The Dallas Mavericks have to adapt and adjust, so here are three key matchups that will decide the opening contests of the series as Luka Doncic recovers from his strained calf.