Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic will miss Friday’s divisional matchup against the Houston Rockets due to a quad injury, NBA insider Marc Stein reported on Thursday.
This will be the first game Doncic has missed due to injury so far this season. He’s only missed one other game — a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in late November to be with his partner after the birth of their child.
It makes sense the Mavericks are finally giving Doncic a break, as Doncic has had a heavy workload in the month of December. Doncic has averaged 40.4 minutes per game with a 35 percent usage rate in the nine games played in December. With injuries to Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, and most recently Dereck Lively, Dallas has leaned on Doncic even mores so than usual.
There isn’t any word yet whether this is a legitimate injury for Doncic or just a night off — Doncic looked gassed by the end of Wednesday night’s loss to the Clippers, where Doncic played 44 minutes and had one of his worst shooting nights of the season, which included six missed free throws. Dallas plays a back-to-back after Friday, against the lottery-bound San Antonio Spurs, so we’ll know shortly if this is an extended absence for Doncic or one night only.
As for the other three injured rotation players, there isn’t much news. Coach Jason Kidd told reporters yesterday before the Clippers game that there is no timetable for the return of Irving (right heel contusion), Green (right elbow sprain), Lively (left ankle sprain), and Maxi Kleber (dislocated toe). If Doncic is back soon, he’ll once again have to put on his superhero cape.