Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle does not expect Luka Doncic to play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday after suffering a right ankle sprain in their overtime defeat to the Miami Heat on Saturday.
Doncic played fewer than two minutes of the Mavericks’ 122-118 loss to the Heat, which dropped them to a record of 17-8. The Slovenian is enjoying a breakout second season that has him in the Most Valuable Player discussion. Doncic is averaging 29.3 points per game to go with 8.9 assists and 9.6 rebounds.
However, he is now unlikely to square off against reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo when the Mavericks visit the Bucks, who lead the Eastern Conference after compiling 18 straight wins.
Speaking in a media conference, Carlisle said: “Luka has a right ankle sprain, we hope it’s not serious, X-rays were negative.”
The Mavericks trailed 73-50 at half-time but produced a stirring second-half fightback to force the extra five-minute period.
Asked what he said to his team in the interval with Doncic sidelined, Carlisle replied: “Don’t have to say much, guys knew we were getting outplayed and outworked and we turned it around in the second half.
“We needed to make one more play or have one more ball bounce our way or get one more call.
“It’s disappointing [Doncic’s injury] but, next man up. Obviously we lose a guy that’s a great player, we don’t know for how long, and I don’t expect him to play against Milwaukee, that’s just an opinion that’s not a media release or anything like that, but we’ve got to circle the wagons with the guys that we have and play like we did in the second half, pretty simple. “