Coming into the season, the strength of this Mavericks team was in question following a poor 2020-21 campaign for Kristaps Porzingis and the absence of superstars on the team. However, Luka Doncic has successfully carried the team on its back 14 games down the stretch.
Luka Legend is doing it all for the team, leading them in points (24.9), rebounds (8.3), and assists (7.9). Although his three-point shooting has been woeful, 30.8% on 8.5 attempts, he is one of the best scorers in the league.
Following Luka Doncic's absence in their last loss against the Phoenix Suns, his availability for the Mavericks as they take on the Suns in this back-to-back matchup is in question.
What is Luka Doncic's status for tonight's game against the Phoenix Suns?
Luka Doncic is listed as doubtful in the official Mavericks injury report ahead of their game against the Suns. The Slovenian sprained his ankle and knee following an awkward landing in an attempt to contest a layup by Austin Rivers of the Denver Nuggets.
After tests by the Mavericks medical team, results showed that there was no damage to his left ankle or knee. Although they will need him if they are to defeat this Suns team on a ten-game winning run, it is unlikely that he will feature.
When will Luka Doncic return?
While there is no damage to the ankle or knee, a one-game absence is not enough to properly recover from an ankle sprain. Given Luka Doncic's style of play, his ankle needs to be 100% if he is to drive through the lane as aggressively as he does.
Luka Doncic is a tough lad and is known to play through injuries. But he risks sitting out for longer if he forces things. An extra few days of rest will do him some good, with a hopeful return on the last day of this four-game road trip.
How does Luka Doncic's absence impact the Mavericks?
The Mavericks held their own against the Suns without Luka Doncic in their last outing. Jalen Brunson did an outstanding job filling in for Luka with 18 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
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While they have had players step up in Luka's absence, it is never the same without him. As earlier stated, he is the team's top scorer, rebounder, and creator. Although they did a good job scoring the basket without him, their output would have been amplified with him on the court.