Doncic Officially Out, Jazz Prepare For Mavericks Alternates
SALT LAKE CITY – Luka Doncic is officially out for the series opener between the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks.
Reports of Doncic’s absence have been circulating since Thursday, but Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd waited until pregame Saturday to rule out the fourth-year guard.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder discussed facing the Mavericks without Doncic.
“Other guys that are really, really good players have opportunities to step into situations, and it’s usually more collective,” Snyder said. “I don’t think anybody’s going to be Luca, but different guys can fill that role and be really, really effective.”
The Mavericks will lean more heavily on guards Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie, though Kidd said he didn’t want his healthy backcourt options to forget who they are.
“They don’t have to break character,” Kidd explained. “We’re not asking them to be Luka. We’re asking them to be themselves.”
Brunson and Dinwiddie are both viable backcourt options and have shown it in their time with the Mavericks.
Dinwiddie is averaging 15.8 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 23 appearances after joining the Mavericks at the trade deadline. Brunson meanwhile is in line for a large raise this offseason after averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in his fourth season in Dallas.
Still, the loss of Doncic is a major boon for the Jazz hopes in game.
“He’s, I think, arguably one of the top three players in the league, that may not be arguable,” Snyder said. “His usage and the way they play with him in the game, he’s just a unique player.”
The Jazz and Mavericks are set to open the NBA Playoffs today at 11 am MT in Dallas at the American Airlines Center.
The game can be heard on KSL NewsRadio and The Zone Sports Network. The series opener will be televised on ESPN, AT&T SportsNet, and FuboTV.
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