What is Dallas Mavs fallout from Luka Doncic’s injury?

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The opening round of the NBA playoffs is slated to begin Saturday, April 16, and the Dallas Mavericks could already be in serious trouble.

Reports surfaced on Thursday that superstar guard Luka Doncic is unlikely to play in Game 1 against the Utah Jazz due to a calf strain and equally worrying that there is no timeline for his return.

Doncic suffered the injury in the Mavericks’ season finale against the San Antonio Spurs when head coach Jason Kidd chose not to rest his starters in an otherwise meaningless game.

Unsurprisingly, news of the 23-year-old’s injury has shifted the odds entirely in favor of fifth-placed Jazz, with Utah listed as the series favorite at -310, an unlikely scenario if Doncic were fully healthy.

Described by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski as “more than a light calf strain,” it’s hard to imagine the three-time All-Star would even come close to scoring 100% even if he did return to the court at some point during the series.

A popular dark horse candidate prior to Doncic’s injury, Dallas now holds the 11th best odds to win the NBA Finals at +2700.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events as the Mavs have been one of the hottest teams in the league, conquering home field advantage for the first time since 2011.

Dallas played 17 games without Doncic during the regular season, going 8-9 in that stretch. Players like Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie are capable of stepping up offensively, but it will be almost impossible to replace the type of production the Slovenian delivers each night (28.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 8.7 APG).

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Utah only went 20-21 during the regular season. There have also been rumors of possible tension between the team’s stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, leading many to speculate that this could be the couple’s last year together.

Anything is possible, but the Mavs are undoubtedly on a steep climb.

All NBA odds and betting lines are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

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