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#pounditWednesday, August 10, 2022

Luka Doncic’s status for Game 1 revealed

Luka Doncic in his Mavericks uniform

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks sustained a major blow before the first round of the NBA playoffs even began.

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said Saturday that All-Star Luka Doncic will not play in Game 1 of the Mavericks’ Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup with the Utah Jazz.

Doncic, who strained his left calf in the third quarter of his team’s regular-season finale against the San Antonio Spurs on April 10, could miss additional time beyond Saturday’s Game 1.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that Doncic’s status for Game 2 on Monday is in question, and that the Mavericks are taking things on a day-by-day basis.

The loss of Doncic for even one game could be monumental for the Mavericks, who have home-court advantage in the postseason for the first time since 2011.

The 23-year-old scored 28.4 points per game during the regular season, good for third-best in the NBA behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.9) and Joel Embiid (30.6).

Doncic was also top-five in the league in assists per game with 8.7.

If Doncic misses more than one game, or the entire series, it would be hard to see a scenario where the Mavericks beat the Jazz. Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson are two capable players who will now see their roles increase, but it’s a tall task to ask them to replicate Doncic’s production.

The Mavericks and Jazz begin their series on Saturday, with Game 2 scheduled for Monday and Game 3 set to take place on April 21.

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