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Mavs vs. Jazz Playoff Preview: Can Dallas Still Win Without Doncic?

Luka Doncic's status for the Dallas Mavericks' first-round series against the Utah Jazz is still uncertain. Can the rest of the team step up in a big way if he's unable to play?

The Dallas Mavericks finished out the regular season on Sunday night with a 52-30 record and a sweep of the San Antonio Spurs – something they hadn't previously done in franchise history. Although Dallas wasn't able to overtake the Golden State Warriors for the third seed in the Western Conference, the team will still host a first-round series against the Utah Jazz. This is the first time the Mavs have hosted a playoff series since 2011.

The biggest question, though, is whether or not superstar Luka Doncic will be able to participate in the series opener, which is set for Saturday at 12 p.m. CT. During the third quarter of the Mavs' 130-120 win over the Spurs, Doncic strained his left calf and had to leave for the rest of the game. He finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in under 30 minutes of action.

luka boot
luka limp
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

On this live-recorded episode of the Mavs Step Back Podcast, hosts Dalton Trigg and Matt Galatzan are joined by a handful of callers to discuss the events of Sunday night at length. Should Jason Kidd have pulled the plug on his starters earlier in the game? Does anyone really deserve blame in Doncic's injury situation, or was it just merely a case of having really bad luck?

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From there, the guys give a full breakdown of the upcoming series between the Mavs and Jazz. Dallas has played Utah closely all season long, even on Christmas Day when they lost 120-116 with hardship contract players Brandon Knight, Charlie Brown Jr. and George King getting significant run. Could the Mavs still beat the Jazz even if Doncic doesn't play? Looking at Spencer Dinwiddie's numbers and Dallas' record when Doncic has missed time since the Kristaps Porzingis trade might give Mavs fans some encouragement there.

Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers

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