Dallas Mavericks have to stagger the minutes heavily without Luka Doncic
The Mavs need more shot creation behind Luka, and it will become apparent quickly when the 22-year-old superstar is not in the lineup. Jalen Brunson will start with Trey Burke coming off the bench to lead the second unit. Burke is at his best when he is creating attempts for himself, so coach Kidd must stagger the starting lineup into the second unit for the offense to stay afloat.
Expect either Brunson or Tim Hardaway Jr. to exit midway through the opening quarter and return when the other needs a rest with roughly three minutes remaining. Kidd will have to separate the two as much as possible. Expect Kristaps Porzingis to be asked to play a few minutes, and be staggered in with the second unit as well.
Things are going to be difficult for the Mavs offense without Luka. He is the heart and soul of the unit, so it won’t be easy creating open shots and knocking them down. Dallas still has plenty of shooting, but they need to stagger JB and THJ to keep two creators on the floor at all times.
Expect the defense to key on Kristaps Porzingis when Doncic is out. That should open up quality looks for Brunson, Hardaway Jr., and the rest of the roster, but can they take advantage?