With Luka Doncic doubtful for Saturday’s playoff opener against the Utah Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks are likely at a severe disadvantage.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Luka Doncic
Whenever a team loses its best player, let alone a Top 10 player in the league, it must adapt. But luckily for the Mavericks, it’s a situation they have dealt with several times before.
Doncic played in 65 games for the Mavs this season, and the team’s record stood at 44-21. That’s pretty good. And with Doncic out? The Mavs were just 8-9.
However, that record can be slightly misleading.
Doncic sprained his knee and ankle back in November and missed three games, all losses. But all three of those were road losses by an average of seven points, and two came against the league-best Phoenix Suns.
Scroll to Continue
Doncic sat the second night of a back-to-back just two weeks later, which resulted in another seven-point road loss. This was at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies, the league’s second-best team.
During Doncic’s longest absence of the season in December, the team managed to stay .500 with a 5-5 record. One of those games was in Utah, with the Mavs falling by four points on Christmas Day.
But in the last four games without Doncic, the Mavs came out on top. Granted, two of those games came against the Sacramento Kings and the other two were the Houston Rockets, who had the league’s worst record, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Mavs can win without Doncic.
Based on this season, the Mavs have a shot without their MVP. If Dallas can win the opera by Doncic, he might be back in Game 2. If that’s the case, it might demoralize any hope the Jazz had of taking back home-court advantage.