Woj: Mavs' Luka Doncic Out vs. Jazz Game 1 with Calf Injury; Game 2 Status in Doubt

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 15, 2022

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) brings the ball upcourt during an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)
AP Photo/Rusty Jones

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic isn't expected to play in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Doncic's calf strain will keep him out for Saturday's opener against the Utah Jazz, and "significant concern remains" about his availability for Game 2 on Monday. 

The Mavericks announced April 12 their best player had been diagnosed with a left calf strain ahead of the first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz. While the team said there was no timetable for when he would return, head coach Jason Kidd initially remained evasive when discussing his Game 1 status. 

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported two days later the three-time All-Star was expected to be out, which wasn't surprising news given the circumstances.

Doncic is coming off another monster regular season. He averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists and shot a career-high 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.

As the Mavs look to improve on their first-round exit in last year's postseason, nobody will be more important than the Slovenian. He led the NBA in usage rate (37.4 percent) for the second season running, per Basketball Reference.

The 23-year-old also thrives on the big stage. He averaged 33.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 9.5 assists through his first 13 playoff games.

With a healthy Doncic, Dallas is still a bit of an outsider for the title. If he's playing hurt or out altogether, the team is in serious trouble.

The Mavericks will host Utah in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.