Luka Doncic (ankle) out vs. Rockets: Who steps up for Mavericks?

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks will sit Luka Doncic out as they host the Houston Rockets on March 23. The team listed him as out with ankle soreness, but a game against the rebuilding Rockets is a chance for the Mavs to give their 23-year-old superstar a bit of rest as he prepares to handle a massive workload down the stretch and into the playoffs.

The Mavericks will only advance as far as Doncic takes them. Over his last 22 contests, Luka averaged 32.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists in 36.6 minutes per game where he shot 47.6 percent from the field and 39.9 percent on his threes. He is playing the best basketball of his career as the Mavs have become a serious threat in the Western Conference.

Every game down the stretch is massive in the tight Western Conference standings, so others are going to have to step up with Doncic on the sidelines. Here is a look at who.

Luka Doncic out vs. Rockets: Who steps up for the Dallas Mavericks?

Spencer Dinwiddie will take Luka’s place in the starting five, and fans can expect him to stay hot on Wednesday night. The 6’5 guard is averaging 19.6 points, 4.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 31.9 minutes per game over his last 12. Expect another 20-point game from Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson will both have to step up to handle the playmaking duties against the Rockets. Houston has lost five of their last six, but they will be a difficult test for the Mavs without Luka on March 23.

Dallas will be shorthanded against the Rockets with Davis Bertans, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Theo Pinson all joining Doncic on the sidelines. Expect Josh Green, Frank Ntilikina, and Trey Burke to get opportunities off the bench. It will be the perfect chance to find their optimal unit for when Luka needs a rest in the playoffs.

They will have to make up for Luka’s scoring by committee. Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, Dwight Powell, and Maxi Kleber will all need to chip in to make up for Doncic’s nearly 30 points per game. It will take a total team effort to defeat Houston on March 23.

The Dallas Mavericks will be without Luka Doncic against the Rockets, but the 23-year-old superstar should be back in the lineup in Minnesota on Friday night in a massive contest in the Western Conference standings. Who steps up for Dallas in the meantime? Stay tuned to find out.

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