It was just one of those flukey plays.
Dallas’ Luka Doncic was driving to the rim when his right foot stepped on the side of the foot of Miami’s Kendrick Nunn, and Doncic’s ankle rolled pretty badly.
*Not Highlight, Luka steps on Nunn's foot and hurts his ankle pic.twitter.com/Jfn1eQAuix
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA2) December 15, 2019
Fortunately, X-rays came back negative, but Doncic is not returning to the game.
#Mavericks guard Luka Dončić (right ankle sprain) will not return to tonight’s game. His X-Rays came back negative.
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) December 15, 2019
It will be tomorrow morning before Dallas knows the severity of the injury and how long Doncic will be out, how his ankle responds to a night of treatment will determine a lot. There are good signs, with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reporting it is a moderate sprain.
Mavs teammates told ESPN that Luka Doncic was working out on the underwater treadmill under the supervision of the team’s athletic trainers at halftime. That’s an encouraging sign that his right ankle sprain isn’t severe.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 15, 2019
In his second season, Doncic has exploded on the scene and played at an MVP level: 30.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 9.3 assists per game. He is, at age 20, as good as any pick-and-roll ball handler in the league, and is the engine for a Dallas offense that has been the best in the NBA this season. Dallas’ offense is 6.1 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court.
It goes without saying if he is out for an extended period that is terrible news for 17-7 Dallas, which currently sits third in the West.