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Luka Doncic Set to Miss Game One of Play-Off Series
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Luka Doncic Set to Miss Game One of Play-Off Series

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The Dallas Mavericks will have to do without star player Luka Doncic for the beginning of their first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz.

The 23-year-old Slovenian has been in sparkling form this season but has suffered a calf strain that will sit out game one as well as possibly game two of their crucial clashes against the Jazz.

Injuries to significant players will always have a key impact on the sports betting picture, and Sidelines.io’s real-time odds comparison service will help you to make sure you are one step ahead of such fluctuations. In other words, if Doncic’s injury absence continues, there’s every chance the Mavericks’ chances of making it to the Conference Semifinals will reduce significantly.

Doncic is into his fourth season at the American Airlines Center and has been selected to the NBA All-Star Game for the past three seasons in a row, and is a player with stunning prospects. The youngster made an immediate impact in the NBA following his move to the States from the Spanish side Real Madrid and will be hoping to steer the Mavericks to their first title since 2011.

The importance of not bringing Doncic back too soon is something that Mavericks coach Jason Kidd is well aware of;

“He’s in good spirits and looks like he’s improving,” before adding;

“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,”

The Mavericks finished the regular season in the second spot in the Southwest Division with an impressive 52-30 record that placed them in the fourth spot in the Western Conference, a healthy gap ahead of those who have to take part in the play-in tournament.

The Utah Jazz aren’t taking the injury news as a bonus, and key player Donovan Mitchell has made it clear that the Mavericks have plenty of star power with or without Doncic;

“I think for us, we’re worried about ourselves and how we can be the best team possible in Game 1, Game 2, and all the way throughout the series,”

“If you start looking at, ‘Man, if he’s out, we’ve got to win,’ I think you could lose the focus on what we’ve been preparing for all week.”

“We’re just ready to go, whoever’s out there. At the end of the day, you’ve got to respect your opponent. And those guys are talented with him and talented without him.”

The Jazz finished the season top of the Northwest, a game ahead of the Denver Nuggets, securing Utah their sixth successive shot in the post-season, albeit, in those six years, they haven’t progressed past the Conference semifinals.

Regardless of Doncic’s absence, we’d predict that the series between the Mavericks and the Jazz will be a keenly fought one that neither team will ease to victory in. The winner of this match-up will take on either the Phoenix Suns or the New Orleans Pelicans in the Conference Semifinals.