Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić suffered a left ankle sprain in opposition to the Phoenix Suns and can miss the rest of Thursday’s sport. Here’s what it is best to know:

  • X-rays on Dončić’s ankle reportedly got here again unfavourable.
  • The Mavericks are 0-5 this season with out Dončić.
  • Dončić is averaging a career-high 33.8 factors per sport this season to associate with 9.1 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.5 steals per outing.


Dallas entered Thursday’s matchup already lacking key items in Christian Wood (thumb) and Maxi Kleber (hamstring), so Dončić’s lingering ankle challenge sophisticated issues extra. The Mavericks entered the sport with a 25-24 document, tied with the Suns for the sixth seed within the Western Conference.

How have the Mavericks been with out Dončić this season?

The Mavericks weren’t constructed to maintain the lack of Dončić for any significant time. Dallas has misplaced all 5 video games he has sat out this season — all for deliberate relaxation — and the group’s stopgap choices, resembling Kemba Walker and Facundo Campazzo, are not on the roster.

But Dallas doesn’t simply miss Dončić when he sits out, but additionally when he sits, interval. If one solely counted the minutes Dončić has performed this season, the Mavericks would personal the league’s finest offense, averaging 120.4 factors per 100 possessions. In the minutes with out him, they common simply 107.8 factors per 100 possessions. That’s virtually two factors worse than the Houston Rockets, who’re final within the league.

Dallas wasn’t this reliant on Dončić final season, when the group made its stunning convention finals run. But whereas Dončić has surged to change into an much more unguardable participant this season, Jalen Brunson’s departure means Dončić’s teammates sometimes lose floor with out him on the court docket. If he misses video games utterly? Well, they nonetheless haven’t proved they’ll win. — Cato

What will the Mavericks do whereas Dončić’s out?

In Dončić’s absence, Dallas will lean on rookie guard Jaden Hardy, who has proven brilliant flashes at instances this season whereas dominating within the G-League, the place he has been the league’s main scorer within the 10 video games he has performed there. Spencer Dinwiddie, sometimes working the second unit, must take over because the lead guard extra typically. It’s not ideally suited that Wood, the group’s second-leading scorer, is out with a damaged finger.

It appears potential that Dončić’s ankle harm may not hold him out lengthy on condition that X-rays have been unfavourable and he walked off the court docket comparatively unhindered. But with the Mavericks having misplaced eight of their previous 11 video games coming into Thursday’s matchup, any missed time from the participant who drives an outsized quantity of the group’s success certain isn’t good. — Cato

Required studying

(Photo: Jerome Miron / USA Today)

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