What the calf injury suffered by Luka Doncic means for the Dallas Mavericks
Luka has not been ruled out yet, but the team will be preparing this week to play without him at least in the opener against the Jazz. He could miss the first two games before returning for Game 3 at the end of next week. The NBA has not released the full schedule for the series yet, but they could do Dallas a favor by spreading the games out, especially early on.
It was the worst possible time for Luka Doncic to get hurt. He was playing the best basketball of his career and worked his way back into the MVP conversation behind three-plus incredible months since the calendar flipped to 2022. Doncic potentially missing time in the postseason stinks, but the team is better equipped to deal with it this season.
It will be next man up for Mavericks if the injury forces Luka to miss time. They won eight of their 17 regular-season games played without Doncic this season, but they were victorious in both since trading for Spencer Dinwiddie at the deadline.
Dinwiddie will take Luka’s place in the starting five and need to take over as the team’s lead playmaker. He averaged over 20 points per game in 2020 as he led the Nets to playoffs, so expect him to be ready to take on the added workload.
Jalen Brunson will also have to play a larger role if Doncic misses time. Can he increase his scoring to 20 per game and get his teammates involved? The Dallas Mavericks will need everyone to step up if Luka Doncic is out with Dinwiddie and Brunson playing key roles as playmakers.