The Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz will face off in Game 1 of their first-round series on Saturday. It’s become unlikely that Luka Doncic will be available to play, with more clarity possibly coming with Friday’s injury report.
On today’s Mavs Donuts, we focus on the Mavericks gearing up for their matchup against the Jazz, the NBA play-in tournament and much, much more.
Donut 1: With or Without Doncic: Mavs vs. Jazz Game 1
The Dallas Mavericks host the Utah Jazz in a highly-anticipated Game 1 on Saturday at noon. The Mavs have home-court advantage for the first time since 2011, which is the last time Dallas won a series.
Donut 2: Doncic Expected To Miss Game 1 of Mavs vs. Jazz
According to Shams Charania on Stadium, the Mavericks are expected to be without Doncic for the playoff opener. His injury status is day-to-day, with a potential recovery window of 7-10 days that Charania noted aligns with a Grade 1 strain.
Donut 3: Tim MacMahon on Doncic’s Injury
During an appearance on “The Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon explained how likely it is for Doncic play in the first two games against the Jazz.
“I picked Jazz in 6,” MacMahon said. “The question is not whether Luka will play in Game 1, but whether he will play in the series.”
“The idea of him playing the first two games would be absolutely shocking and frankly dangerous.”
Donut 4: Mavericks in West Champions Club
Among all of the Western Conference teams remaining in contention for a playoff spot (includes play-in teams), only the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors have ever won an NBA championship.
Donut 5: Jazz Facing Most Pressure?
When picking the team that faces the most pressure in this year’s playoffs, Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni picked the Jazz. With Luka Doncic’s injury being the prevailing storyline, Utah could face major changes if they cannot win the series.
“The Donovan Mitchell–Rudy Gobert partnership has been teetering for a while now. At this point, it’s almost as if nobody even expects the Jazz to make any sort of a run. Still, if there’s any chance to salvage this iteration of the Jazz , it has to happen this postseason. With Luka Doncic hurt, Utah may be in position to steal the first-round series with the Mavs. If the Jazz instead have another short stay in the playoffs, big changes are likely on the horizon.”
Donut 6: Finney-Smith’s NBA Record
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At the conclusion of the regular season, Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith became the first player in NBA history to increase his scoring average and 3-point shooting each year for any five-year period.
Donut 7: Mavs Among Potential Malik Monk Suitors?
According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Mavericks are a potential suitor for Malik Monk in free agency. Other teams that were mentioned were the New York Knicks as a “team to watch” along with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Dallas, I would look out for them,” the GM told Deveney. “They need to create flexibility but once they do, they would have an interest in a guy like Monk.”
Donut 8: Brunson Has Used 2021 Playoffs as Motivation
The Mavericks received an underwhelming performance from Brunson in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers last year.
“It sat with me all summer,” Brunson said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about since June 6. I’m ready to go. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Donut 9: Can Mavs Learn From Cowboys QB with Doncic’s Injury?
Texas is cattle country and, unfortunately, we’ve got ourselves a calf problem. Not with young cows, of course, but more so the backs of lower legs of our sports superstars.
October: Dak Prescott. April: Luka Doncic.
Donut 10: Stephen Curry Likely to Play Game 1 vs. Nuggets
Aside from Doncic, the top Western Conference injury to watch entering Game 1 of the playoffs has been Stephen Curry. He suffered a mid-foot strain in March and hasn’t played in a game since, but there’s optimism he will be available for Game 1 under a minutes restriction.
Donut 11: Jarret Allen ’50-50′ for Play-In Matchup
The Cleveland Cavaliers could gain Jarrett Allen back into the lineup for Friday’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. With the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference on the line, Allen’s presence could help to keep the Cavs’ playoff hopes alive.
Donut 12: Paul George to Miss Play-In Game
The Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans are set to face off on Friday in the play-in tournament to determine the eight seed in the Western Conference. The Clips will be doing so without Paul George after entering health and safety protocols.