Report: Mavericks' Luka Doncic Unlikely to Play Game 2, Needs 'Dramatic Improvement'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 17, 2022

DALLAS, TEXAS - APRIL 16: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks walks off the court at halftime as the Dallas Mavericks take on the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on April 16, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is considered "unlikely" to play in Game 2 of the team's first-round series against the Utah Jazz.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Doncic will have to make a "dramatic improvement" in order to be cleared.  

The All-Star missed Saturday's opening game because of a calf strain suffered in the team's regular-season finale.

"If he's hurt and he can't play, we're not going to roll him out there to jeopardize or put him in a situation to make things worse," Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told reporters before the start of the series. 

The Mavs offense was been completely unable to get into a rhythm with Doncic out of the lineup. Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson attempted to take the reins but have been unsuccessful against a locked-in Jazz team.

If Utah is able to sweep Dallas on its home floor, it's fair to wonder if the Mavs should just pack things in and allow Doncic to heal over the course of the offseason. This isn't a team that's primed for a Finals run in 2022, and Doncic's long-term health should take top priority.