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Luka Doncic injury update: Dallas Mavericks star to miss Game 1 against the Jazz

Vincent Frank

This is not the Luka Doncic injury update that the Dallas Mavericks and their fans wanted ahead of Saturday’s playoff opener against the Utah Jazz.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Doncic is expected to miss Game 1 of their first-round NBA Playoff seris with a strained calf.

Doncic suffered said injury in Dallas’ season finale against the San Antonio Spurs this past Sunday evening. Head coach Jason Kidd is under fire for playing Doncic in said game despite his Mavericks having already clinched a top-four seed in the Western Conference.

For Kidd, it was all about potentially securing the No. 3 seed and avoiding a Round 2 matchup with the NBA-best Phoenix Suns. A Mavericks win coupled with the New Orleans Pelicans defeating the Golden State Warriors Sunday evening would have given Dallas the No. 3 seed. That never came to fruition.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NBA Playoff and championship predictions

Luka Doncic injury and when he might return

Apr 10, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) grabs his left calf during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Typically, injuries of this ilk would keep a player out more than two weeks. Remember, Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain in the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs when he was a member of the Golden State Warriors. Durant returned in time for the NBA Finals, only to suffer a torn Achilles in the process.

Related: Luka Doncic injury and impact on the NBA Playoffs

For Dallas, it’s all about weighing championship aspirations this season with Doncic’s long-term health. He’s one of a few franchise cornerstones around the NBA.

  • Luka Doncic stats (2021-22): 28.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 8.7 APG, 46% shooting, 35% 3-point

Doncic, 23, is obviously the biggest key to Dallas’ championship aspirations after the team won 52 regular-season games.

With him sidelined for Game 1 (and potentially longer), the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson will have to fill the scoring void.

Going up against a Jazz team that struggled down the stretch, there’s at least some hope the Mavericks can keep their head above water until Doncic returns. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any timeline for said return.

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