The Dallas Mavericks’ Mr. Everything Luka Doncic limped off the floor during the season’s final game with what the team called a calf strain. He did not return.
Luka Dončić exited the game after suffering a left calf strain. pic.twitter.com/aJ1uJPf68N
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 11, 2022
The team announced Tuesday that an MRI confirmed a calf strain, however, they did not put a grade on it nor list a timetable for his return.
The Dallas Mavericks announced today that an MRI confirmed a left calf strain for Luka Dončić.
Dončić has begun treatment and there is no timetable for his return. pic.twitter.com/L7GPE4Lfe0
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) April 12, 2022
The Mavericks open the playoffs Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, hosting the Utah Jazz. Dallas is not required to list Doncic’s playing status for that game — probable, questionable, out — until Friday night. It’s savvy gamesmanship to keep the Jazz in the dark as long as possible (although Utah will certainly plan as if he is going to play). Kidd was in full gamesmanship mode Tuesday.
In a 3-minute span, Jason Kidd has said several times that Luka Doncic is "in great spirits" but he is being a coy as possible about Doncic's status for Saturday's Game 1, as well as whether he can practice.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) April 12, 2022
The average time missed for a calf strain this season is 16 days, but it has been as low as three, according to Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes. It depends on the grade of the strain and where it is in the calf muscle.
Doncic is an MVP-level player who is the hub of everything in the Mavericks’ offense. He averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.4 assists a game this season, and the Dallas offense is 4.4 points per 100 possessions worse when he is off the court. If Doncic is out or even slowed in this series, it is a huge advantage for the Jazz.