Luka Doncic is the engine that runs the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA these days. The 22-year-old Slovenian is one of the best players in the league and shows the potential to continuously evolve. The problem with having such an exceptional player on the roster, however, is that you become prone to easy pickings without him.
With the ongoing season picking up pace and rankings quickly being swapped between the big teams, the Dallas Mavericks can't help but wait for their best player's return. Luka Doncic suffered an ankle injury in the final moments of the game against the Denver Nuggets. He limped off the court and has since missed three games, all of which ended in losses for Dallas.
Further tests post the unfateful end moments of the game have proven that Doncic's injury is not that severe. However, reports have suggested that he has been battling pain and swelling for the last few games.
What is Luka Doncic's status for tonight's game against the LA Clippers?
Luka Doncic joined the 5-on-5 practice ahead of the match against the LA Clippers. However, according to Callie Caplan, a writer with Dallas News, the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year may have further aggravated his injury during practice. In a tweet, Callie informed fans of what transpired in the practice:
"A few mins after this video, Luka slammed the bleachers, shouted in pain. Didn’t see what happen bc reporters were talking to Jason Kidd, but Luka left practice with ice bandaged around his left knee. Just as this happened, Kidd said Luka is “questionable” tomorrow."
Even though Doncic has been marked as questionable for tonight's game, it seems highly unlikely that he will play after the unfortunate event at practice.
When will Luka Doncic return?
The Dallas Mavericks will hopefully not try and hurry Luka Doncic's recovery. Even if he misses a couple more games, it should be alright for his team considering not much is at stake immediately.
That being said, at the moment, there is no available timeline or certainty around the Slovenian national's return. He might be back before Dallas hosts the Washington Wizards or may miss a few more games as well.
How does Luka Doncic's absence impact the Dallas Mavericks?
Without Luka Doncic, the Mavs are an incomplete team by all means. Doncic is the yarn that connects all the players and elevates everybody's game. Furthermore, his vision and cognitive abilities in crucial moments make him an invaluable asset.
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Many players in the league are skilled, and even more are athletically gifted. However, with such an abundance of gifts, intelligence is the element that separates the good from the great. Doncic possesses impeccable basketball intelligence, which he often uses to help his team defeat much stronger and more dangerous foes.