NBA

Doncic set to miss Mavs playoff opener

By Sports Desk April 14, 2022

The Dallas Mavericks are expecting Luka Doncic to sit out their playoff opener against the Utah Jazz on Saturday due to a calf strain.

Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news on Thursday of what will likely prove to be a critical absence for the Mavs.

Doncic strained his left calf in the third quarter of the Mavs' final regular season fixture, a 130-120 win over the San Antonio Spurs, and sat out the rest of the game after putting up 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

The two-time All-Star would have been ineligible for the game had the NBA not rescinded his 16th technical foul of the season, which he earned in the game prior against the Portland Trailblazers. Doncic would have been forced to serve a one-game suspension if the technical foul had stood.

Though the win over the Spurs was ultimately a meaningless game, with the Golden State Warriors defeating the New Orleans Pelicans and confirming the Western Conference's third seed, the Mavs still had to keep up their end of the bargain and beat the Spurs.

The 23-year-old Slovenian averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game this season.

Related items

  • Victor Wembanyama makes history with All-Defensive team selection Victor Wembanyama makes history with All-Defensive team selection

    San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama became the first rookie to be voted to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team when the league unveiled the voting on Tuesday.

    Wembanyama received 98 of a possible 99 first-team votes to add to an impressive list of accolades after his first NBA season.

    Rudy Gobert, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, was the only unanimous first-team selection.

    Gobert and Wembanyama were joined on the first team by the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Herb Jones.

    Gobert was voted All-Defence for the seventh time in his career, all on the first team.

    Adebayo, long considered a top-tier defender, was selected to the first team for the first time in his career. Even the veterans, however, were appreciative of Wembanyama’s rookie campaign.

    “Coming into this league, obviously he had high expectations because he's 7-3 and shooting step-back 3s. I think a lot of people paid attention more to that than what he actually did on the defensive end,” Adebayo said of Wembanyama. “So, for him to get first team, first come around, it's obviously a great accolade for him.”

    Wembanyama led the league with 3.58 blocked shots per game, over a block more per game than any other player. The towering Frenchman was also eighth in the league at 10.6 rebounds per game and ranked in the top 25 with 1.24 steals per game.

    This was the first season of position-less voting for the All-Defence teams, leading to a strong preference for interior defenders, but perimeter players were well-represented on the second team.

    The Chicago Bulls’ Alex Caruso, the Orlando Magic’s Jalen Suggs, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels and Boston Celtics backcourt mates Jrue Holiday and Derrick White were voted to the All-Defensive second team.

    The league will announce its three All-NBA teams on Wednesday.

     

     

  • NBA All-Rookie team headlined by Wembanyama, Holmgren NBA All-Rookie team headlined by Wembanyama, Holmgren

    San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama was unanimously selected to the NBA's All-Rookie first team.

    The NBA revealed its All-Rookie teams on Monday, and Wembanyama's inclusion was hardly a surprise, considering he was unanimously named the league's Rooke of the Year two weeks ago.

    Oklahoma City Thunder big man Chet Holgmren, who finished second to Wembanyama in rookie of the year voting, was also a unanimous selection to the NBA's All-rookie first team, appearing on all 99 ballots.

    Joining Wembanyama and Holmgren on the first team are Charlotte Hornets guard-forward Brandon Miller, Miami Heat forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Golden State Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski.

    Jaquez, who also appeared on all 99 ballots, finished fourth in All-rookie team voting with Miller finishing third and Podziemski in fifth. 

    The NBA All-Rookie second team includes Derek Lively II of the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets' Amen Thompson, the Memphis Grizzlies' GG Jackson II, the Thunder's Cason Wallace and Keyonte George of the Utah Jazz.

    Wembanyama, who became the first player to unanimously win NBA Rookie of the Year honours since Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015-16, averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and a league-leading 3.6 blocks in 71 games in 2023-24.

    After finishing second to Minnesota's Rudy Gobert in voting for the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award two weeks ago, Wembanyama seems like a lock to be named to this season's All-Defensive team, which will be revealed Tuesday.

    If he is named to either the All-Defensive team or All-NBA team, which is announced Wednesday, he'll be the first rookie to do so since fellow Spurs star Tim Duncan in 1998.

  • 'It's a failure, not fatal' - Malone rallies Nuggets after Wolves defeat 'It's a failure, not fatal' - Malone rallies Nuggets after Wolves defeat

    Michael Malone reflects on a hard end to the season after the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled off a historic comeback to beat the Denver Nuggets.

    The Nuggets let a 20-point lead slip in the third quarter at home to lose 98-90 in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals as the Timberwolves denied them a chance at a second straight league title.

    Minnesota trailed 53-38 at half-time – the largest deficit a Game 7 winner has overcome in NBA post-season history.

    Asked what went wrong in the second half, Malone did not have too many answers.

    "That's what's hard," Malone said. "F*** being up 20. Season's over. It's hard."

    "This is just a momentary delay. It's a failure, it's not fatal. We'll be back.

    "The better team won, so I'm taking nothing away from Minnesota ... but mentally, emotionally, physically, I think guys are gassed. They're dead tired.

    "They gave me everything I could ever ask for, and that's why as much as this hurts, I'll walk out of this building tonight with my head held very high."

    Denver dropped the first two games of the series at home but won the next three to get themselves back on track to challenge for a repeat NBA title.

    Jamal Murray scored 35 points for the Nuggets, while Nikola Jokic added 34, but the former thinks the team were just lacking an edge at the end of the game.

    "Just mentally and physically, conjuring up the energy to fight like you're being hunted," Murray said. "I think that's the emotion.

    "When you're the hunter, you have so much more motivation and you grasp on to anything to prove everybody wrong and you have a constant chip on your shoulder.

    "I don't know. I feel like we should have won tonight. That's the tough part. They beat us, but we had so many great opportunities, including myself, so it's just tough, man."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.