The Dallas Mavericks aim to steady their ship following two recent consecutive defeats. In the process, the Texas franchise faces a tough away challenge in Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia 76ers. So, concerns arise amongst the supporters over the availability of their All-Star starter Luka Doncic.
As per the latest injury report on 5th February, the point guard has been suffering from a lasting right ankle soreness. This condition often gives rise to swelling and may cause pain upon the ankle touching the ground, resulting in three weeks of recovery time. Thus, the Slovenian star has been listed as ‘Questionable’ for the clash after sustaining the condition for nearly two weeks.
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The 24-year-old has been managing the injury since last month. In the previous game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the soreness increased following a contest with Giannis Antetokounmpo. The talismanic figures fought for a loose ball before Doncic’s ankle sprained under his weight. The instance certainly resulted in further damage for the Mavs guard as he struggled to stand up immediately.
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Following the conclusion of the clash, the international star remained optimistic, stating,
“I mean, it’s the same ankle. It’s okay. Just heard the pop, was right there. I’ve been working almost every day on that ankle, so it’s pretty strong now. It’s better now. If I did that last year, it was going to be way worse. But this year, almost every day, I work on this ankle, so it’s good”.
So, the question marks yet again rise over his fitness level as the 5x All-Star could miss his 9th game of the campaign. The 6ft 7″ star has already missed out on seven matches in less than two months. Initially, he struggled with his left quadriceps injury before his recent condition put the franchise’s postseason hopes in jeopardy.
This certainly shifts the pressure entirely on the rest of the team as the 2019 ROTY has been registering MVP digits throughout. Averaging 34.8 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, and 9.6 assists per game, Doncic remains a leading figure in the league. The fans hope to see him on the court against the 76ers as the pressure mounts on the team.
How the Dallas Mavericks can cope in the absence of Luka Doncic
In the initial phase of the regular season, the organization failed to come up with answers in the absence of the 2017 EuroLeague MVP. After a 0-3 record without him, the team learned to adapt as their form improved. Since then, the Mavs have recorded a 3-2 run without the services of their talisman.
Despite that, their recent form remains far from convincing. The roster faced a humiliation against the Minnesota Timberwolves as they lost 87-121 without Doncic. On top of it, the team could miss out on the contributions of five more of its players, including the 2016 champion Kyrie Irving.
So, the coaching brilliance of Jason Kidd may get tested yet again against a heavyweight. After missing out on a playoff run, the supporters hoped for a turnaround in this campaign. A failure to achieve so may have consequences as the NBA enters its ruthless form.