The latest presentation of Dallas mavericks had been ideal: solid level of play against a candidate team as Denver Nuggets, victory with some forcefulness (especially in the final part) and ratification of the good level in a 2021-2022 with high expectations (9-4 record). However, just about the closing, the worst happened for Jason Kidd’s: got injured Luka doncic, the center of everything that happens in the organization. The good news is that it does not seem serious or that it can be extended in time, according to the latest reports. The bad news is that, immediately, the Slovenian will be absent due to sprained ankle and left knee. Just when the Mavs must visit the Phoenix Suns, another of the top West, on Wednesday night.
It will be the first match that Luka has missed this season, a detail that makes us look back a bit. And is that every team suffers when its main asset is not there, but how have the Mavericks fared without Doncic? Is the gap as big as you might think given its influence? Let’s see.
Dallas Mavericks numbers without Luka Doncic
|Season||Without Luka (GP)||Without Luka (%)||With Luka (GP)||With Luka (%)|
If Dallas is a super dependent team on Doncic (which is true enough), then it is also one that knows how to hide its absences. Since he stepped on an NBA court for the first time, the Slovenian has missed 30 Regular Phase games and the Mavs have achieved 14 victories in them. Yes, approaching 50% is quite an achievement. In the basic numbers, you only notice a really substantial difference in his first season, although the context was different there: The Texans were not yet the 100% Doncic team they became after his year as a rookie.
Now, let’s go a little deeper and focus on the Mavs variable with or without Doncic on the court, something that is always followed. In fact, the suffering of Dallas when Luka rests has always been a subject of narrative around his reality. What does the data say?
|Season||Luka on court||Luka out|
|Rating Of.||Rating Def.||Net Rating||Rating Of.||Rating Def.||Net Rating|
Narrative or reality? During their first three seasons, the Mavs have had a better net rating with Doncic on the court (driven by a logical offensive improvement), but they have never been negative in Luka’s minutes away (noticeable defensive improvement in those moments to compensate for the fall attack). Now, what is happening in this 2021-2022 is at least curious.
And it is that, when Doncic is on the court, he registers the second worst net rating of the entire team, being surpassed by his rivals by 9.3 points per 100 possessions (452 total minutes). And when Luka is at the bank? The Mavs have the best possible net rating, outperforming their rivals by just over 20 points per 100 possessions. (172 total minutes) and deploying an elite defense (89.5 defensive rating). Without a doubt, a strange detail. Or does anyone think Dallas is better without the Slovenian? No way.
Jalen Brunson, the great key
No star can be individually replaced when it is not there, but it is always aimed at an improvement of the block in general. However, the Mavs have remarkable life insurance on Jalen Brunson. He entered his fourth year in the league after a 2020-2021 season in which he was one of the best sixth men of the year under the radar. But what he is doing in 2021-2022 completely surpasses him. Not only is it an essential bench piece anymore, it is one of the pillars of Jason Kidd’s.
So far this year, he averages 15.1 points (50.7% field), 4.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 29.1 minutes, being a starter in two of his 13 games. Now, when we delve into his production we see a part of the key to the success of Dallas without Luka. And is that Brunson has played in 151 of the 172 minutes that Doncic has been in the bank. In them, lKidd’s have a spectacular +20 net rating. More striking still, With the Slovenian on the court and without Brunson, the Texans register a -19.9 net rating in 225 minutes. Shocking
Brunson will likely take over the starting point guard job against the Suns, trying to be the essential piece the Mavs need to make up for the absence of their franchise player.
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How did the Dallas Mavericks fare without Luka Doncic? The performance data of Texans | NBA.com Spain | The Official Site of the NBA