DALLAS - It's all good for Luka Doncic right now. Almost.
He says his Dallas Mavericks are "having fun,'' They've been hot and so has he, as Luka averages 28.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game this season. He just turned 22 and has earned his second straight NBA All-Star Game start. On Tuesday it was announced that another event on All-Star Weekend - the Skills Challenge - will also feature the Mavericks superstar.
There is one more Mavs game before the All-Star Break, Dallas scheduled to be at home against OKC on Wednesday ... and Luka is being listed as "doubtful'' to play in that game due to a back ailment - "lower-back tightness.'' (Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein is also on the report as questionable to play after leaving Monday’s game due to a thumb sprain.)
The joke here, of course, is that naturally Doncic's back is sore, the result of him carrying the Mavs to what is now a 17-16 record. And maybe this is just precautionary.
But if Doncic - who has missed just one game all season - has any issues of concern with his back? The Skills Challenge - in which he is scheduled to be joined by Chris Paul, Nikola Jokic, Domantas Sabonis, Julius Randle and Robert Covington - is suddenly rendered immaterial. And really, the All-Star Game itself is as well.
Coach Rick Carlisle said he expects Doncic to still participate in the All-Star weekend in Atlanta.
In the short term, the Mavericks could get through Wednesday by starting the red-hot Jalen Brunson at point guard alongside Josh Richardson. But in the long term? Dallas has experienced enough issues with COVID and with ailments that have limited Kristaps Porzingis. Another issue in this department is not needed.
Especially not an issue with the player in Luka Doncic who carries the Mavs on his back.
CONTINUE READING: Mavs Talk: 'Whole Team Was Having Fun', Says Doncic