Woj: Luka Doncic's Calf Injury Prompting 'A Lot of Concern' Ahead of Mavs vs. Jazz

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2022

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
AP Photo/Aaron Gash

The calf injury to star Luka Doncic is creating "a lot of concern" about his availability within the Dallas Mavericks organization, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported the left calf strain is "a little bit more than a mild strain." Doncic is facing a race against the clock with the Mavs scheduled to open their first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz on Saturday 1 p.m. ET.

The Mavericks didn't put a timetable on Doncic's return when they announced the severity of the injury Tuesday, and head coach Jason Kidd didn't provide any clarity when addressing the situation with reporters.

Brad Townsend @townbrad

In a 3-minute span, Jason Kidd has said several times that Luka Doncic is "in great spirits" but he is being a coy as possible about Doncic's status for Saturday's Game 1, as well as whether he can practice.

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Jason Kidd was predictably vague about Luka Doncic’s calf strain. Any hope for Game 1? “We’ll see,” Kidd said. “He’s in great spirits today. We’ll see how his body feels tomorrow. We’ll prepare with him and then we’ll also prepare without him.”

Doncic's importance to Dallas goes without saying.

The 23-year-old led the team in the three major categories, averaging 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists. He also led the NBA in usage rate (37.4 percent) for the second season running, per Basketball Reference. That is the eighth-highest usage rate over a single season in NBA history.

Spencer Dinwiddie has far exceeded expectations since joining the Mavs in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. He averaged 15.8 points and shot 40.4 percent from beyond the arc in 23 regular-season games.

Looking ahead to the postseason, Dinwiddie can help ease the scoring and playmaking burden on Doncic.

Still, the Mavericks are likely to go as far as their best player can take them. The three-time All-Star has risen to the occasion in the playoffs, averaging 33.5 points, 8.8 boards and 9.5 assists through 13 career contests.

Dallas is bound to struggle in a big way if Doncic is less than 100 percent against Utah, and the team might be toast if his calf injury forces him to miss a single game.