Dallas Mavericks All-Star Luka Dončić Could Miss Multiple Games

The Dallas Mavericks saw their entire season flash before their eyes when All-Star point guard Luka Dončić sustained a left ankle injury against the Phoenix Suns.

Luka Dončić ankle injury Dallas Mavericks Mavs sprained
Luka Dončić ankle injury Dallas Mavericks Mavs sprained
Dallas Mavs point guard Luka Dončić, seen here inspecting his left foot in a game against the Phoenix Suns, exited in the first quarter with an ankle injury. (Image: USA Today Sports)

Less than three minutes into the first quarter, Dončić drove to the basket and tried to slip by forward Cam Johnson from the Suns. However, he accidentally stepped on Suns forward Mikal Bridges.

A limping Dončić headed to the locker room with an apparent left ankle injury. He never returned, and scored zero points for only the first time in his career.

Dončić underwent X-rays, which did not reveal any fractures bones. He underwent more testing which revealed a mild sprained ankle.

Luka looked good, he looked fine,” said head coach Jason Kidd after the game. “We’ll see how he feels as we go forward.”

The Mavs listed Dončić as day-to-day with a left ankle injury, but he will miss Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz. Without Dončić in the lineup against the Jazz, the Mavs are +7.5 road underdogs.

The Mavs host the Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans this week, before leaving the Big D for a five-game road trip.

Heliocentric Mavs Rely Heavily on Dončić

Dončić missed only five games this season, but the Mavs are 0-5 in those games. Without Dončić, the Mavs struggle to score points. That’s the problem with a heliocentric offense like the Mavs when one player is the crux of the entire offense. Dončić is the center of the Mavs’ universe, and the offense collapses without him.

Dončić was the NBA’s leading scorer entering the game against the Suns averaging a career-high 33 points per game. However, a scoreless game against the Suns impacted his scoring average. He slipped to second overall in the NBA behind big man Joel Embiid from the Philadelphia 76ers who averages 33.4 points per game.

Dončić leads the Mavs with 33 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game this season. He’s having an MVP season as the Mavs best scorer, rebounder, assist man, and leads the team in steals with 1.5 per game. The Mavs have big shoes to fill without Dončić in the lineup.

Shooting guard Spencer Dinwiddie (17.3 points, 5.4 assists) could slide over to point guard to replace Dončić., Backup guard Frank Ntilikina (2.7 ppg) could also log minutes at point guard, but he’s been buried deep on the bench. The injury to Dončić also provides rookie guard Jaden Hardy (5.8 ppg) to see an uptick in playing time.

Betting the Mavs in the Second Half of the Season

The Mavs are 26-24 this season and currently hold down sixth place in the Western Conference. The Mavs are in third place in the Southwest Division, and trail the first-place Memphis Grizzlies by 5.5 games.

The Mavs upset the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the 2022 Western Conference Semifinals, despite Dončić nursing a late-season calf injury. The Golden State Warriors knocked out the Mavs in the Western Conference Finals and went on to win the 2021-22 NBA championship.

After their deep run last postseason, the Mavs had high expectations thrust upon them even though they lost guard Jalen Brunson in free agency.

During the preseason, the Mavs were +2200 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship. Last week, the Mavs were +2600 odds to win the title. However, oddsmakers adjusted the Mavs to +3500 odds to reflect Dončić potentially missing multiple games with an ankle injury.

The Mavs saw the Western Conference odds dip as well to +1300 at DraftKings.

The Grizzlies are the consensus favorite to win the Southwest Division at -900 odds. The New Orleans Pelicans are five games out of first place, but +850 odds to win the division. The Mavs are +1600 odds to win the Southwest division as the third-highest team on the board.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is the betting favorite to win the NBA MVP for a third season in a row at -160 odds. Dončić is the second favorite on the board at +475 odds to win the MVP.

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