Dinwiddie, Brunson Ready To Step Up If Doncic Can’t Play

Dallas Mavericks, NBA News, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jalen Brunson
NBA Analysis Network

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic sustained a calf injury in the team’s final game of the NBA regular season on Sunday. The team has not yet announced a timetable for return.

Losing Doncic would be a tough break for Dallas, who finished fourth in the Western Conference this year. Coach Jason Kidd expressed optimism in the team’s supporting cast despite the injury to their star.

“If we had to play without Luka, with Spencer being able to come in and fill that void, we’re not asking him to be Luka,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said of guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “But we’re asking him to be himself.”

The first-year Mavericks coach continued, saying “We feel confident if he has to start, that’s what we’ll do. But no matter who we roll out there to start or who’s going to play in that game, we’ll be ready and prepared, and it’s about executing.”

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Dinwiddie himself expressed similar optimism, citing previous games Doncic missed during the season. “The couple of games that (Doncic) hasn’t played and I’ve been in there, my usage goes way up,” Dinwiddie said. “I just try to continue to make plays and be aggressive.”

The recently acquired Mavericks guard also expressed confidence in his teammates. “Obviously, everybody gets more possessions, of course. I’ll probably approach it similarly to when (Doncic) wasn’t playing before. I know my usage will be up like I said, but it’s a team effort. I don’t expect to shoulder the load completely.”

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One such teammate, Jalen Brunson, commented on the mentality of the team heading into the postseason. “I think it’s a next man’s up mentality,” Brunson said. “A player like Luka – he’s a generational talent, a top-five player in the league, he does everything he wants on the court.”

The Dallas Mavericks will play Game 1 vs. the Utah Jazz on Saturday at 1 PM ET, the earliest time slot of all first-round games.