The Dallas Mavericks have an important stretch ahead of them as they look to secure a playoff spot this spring. It’s not shaping up to be an easy task, as star guard Luka Doncic went down with a thigh injury on March 8.
While Dallas will be without their All-Star, they’ll also miss out on having to face off against another, at least twice over the next 11 days.
The Memphis Grizzlies announced that Ja Morant will not be with the team for at least the next four games, two of which are against the Mavericks.
“Ja Morant will continue to remain away from the team for at least the next four games,” the Grizzlies wrote in a statement.
The punishment came after the 23-year-old shared a video of himself on his Instagram Live waving a gun around, which opened the door for the NBA to get involved in the issue. In response, he will now miss multiple NBA games and is temporarily stepping away from the team.
Morant later put out a response after the incident, apologizing for his actions:
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
Depending on how long Morant ends up being away from the team for, the Mavericks could avoid playing him up to three times, with matchups on March 11, 13, and 20.
Dallas will certainly have a better shot at coming out on top in those games. Memphis has yet to pick up a victory, during Morant’s supsension.
Mavs’ Luka Doncic Says Thigh Injury is ‘Not Good’
Again, the Mavs very well could be without their Slovenian star for a few games. He had to leave the recent matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans early due to a thigh injury.
After his early exit, Doncic spoke with the media and explained that his ailment is “not good.”
“It’s been going on for one week, maybe more, I just can’t really push off of that leg,” Doncic said via Mavs Fan For Life’s Landon Thomas. “I’m just getting with no running, I can feel it, but mostly probably on the jump shots. So pushing off is very hard for me.”
He went on to add that the pain had gotten worse throughout the game in New Orleans.
“I always try to play,” Doncic explained after Dallas’ 113-106 loss to the Pelicans. “I think the first quarter wasn’t really that bad, but it got worse, especially in the third quarter. I just tried something to help it stick together, but it didn’t really help. Like I said, I was going more and more and then I could barely run. Normally I got hit in the thigh, but this one I didn’t get hit, so it’s kind of weird for me. I don’t really know what it is, I don’t know, it’s weird.”
Doncic wrapped things up by saying he was due for an MRI the following day.
Jason Kidd Discusses Luka Doncic Injury After Mavs’ Loss
Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd didn’t hold back when discussing Doncic’s injury. He explained that the issue has affected the star guard’s game at a noticeable level.
“We all can see that he’s not moving well — shooting, defense — it’s affecting everything,” Kidd said of Doncic’s injury via Sports Illustrated’s Grant Afseth. “He’s trying to fight through it and help his teammates, but he had to leave there. Hopefully, it’s not something serious. We have a couple days here before we play Memphis. Hopefully, he’s back soon.”