After his recent appearances in the FIBA World Cup with Slovenia, Luka Doncic has created concern in the Dallas camp over his lingering thigh injury which started last season. As the Mavericks are only days away from starting their training camp on September 27, coach Jason Kidd referred to his star’s status.
“I think hopefully, as we go forward here, that he will be ready to go,” he said in an interview with insider Marc Stein. “I presume that sometimes in our career, we are not 100 percent. Maybe we’re 99 or 95 percent. The more games you play, the longer your career, I think you can ask anyone. No one’s really 100 percent.”
The Mavs trainer recognized the need to count on his roster’s depth and not depend entirely on Doncic, who must rest and not be overburdened with responsibility.
“Now, looking at our roster, hopefully, we don’t have to play him 40 or more minutes per night,” Kidd assured. “With the depth that we have, I thought Nico [Harrison] did an incredible job this summer, but I’m excited with Luka and Kyrie Irving, and having Luka ready to go and achieve his goals, and that’s to win a championship.”
Just as Slovenia was eliminated by a 100-84 loss to Lithuania in the past international competition, Luka revealed he’d been suffering with thigh pains and had some concerns. “It’s not okay,” he said after the match.
Even though he wasn’t 100% healthy, he still played 37 minutes in that contest, right after logging 38 minutes the night before against Italy. “I do not know what to say. It’s not okay. At the same time, I have to prepare for one more game, and then for a whole season in the NBA,” he later admitted.
Dallas are getting ready to start their upcoming NBA campaign against the San Antonio Spurs on October 25, as the basketball world will be tunning in to see the official debut of No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama.
Texas Legends head coach praises rookies Dereck Livelly II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper and describes them as ‘gym rats’
As the Dallas camp is about to begin this Wednesday, there is a shared optimism around the fanbase for the upcoming season. Not only is Doncic gonna team up with Kyrie Irving since the start of the campaign, but there is a lot of talk over their rookies’ potential.
“Honestly, we’ve spent a lot of time with them from Summer league through now,” he said. “Because they’ve been in the gym every week, and they’ve been really committed to their work. You really can’t find guys like who are just so genuine and are just so focused and committed to learning. I think those are two of the best young guys I’ve seen with that. They’re very mature in their approach on the day-to-day, [and] they understand what they don’t know.”
ICYMI: Dallas Mavericks rookie center Dereck Lively II seems pumped to play with Luka Doncic, and he recently spoke about how he’ll be able to help him when on the floor together.@austinmcgee15 has the story.https://t.co/0Dq5U2KVIF
— The Smoking Cuban (@thesmokingcuban) September 15, 2023
As for Lively, he believes the 19-year-old big man not only has an impressive physical gift, but also a high basketball IQ.
“I know everybody’s talked about his defense, and obviously he has the size and the mobility and the athleticism to do all of those things,” Sears shared. “I think for a big, you try to keep the game simple for them in terms of screening angles, rolling to the rim, putting pressure on the rim, finishing around the rim and protecting the rim conversely on the defensive side of the ball, [and] being able to communicate your pick-and-roll coverages.”