UPDATE: Doncic will return to the lineup Thursday vs. the Spurs, coach Rick Carlisle confirmed this afternoon.
Confirmed by Rick Carlisle on the Normathon on @dfwticket minutes ago - Luka will play tonight vs San Antonio— Mark Followill (@MFollowill) December 26, 2019
The big story heading into this game is the status of Luka Doncic ($14,000). After missing the Mavericks’ last four games due to a sprained ankle, he’s been upgraded to questionable and appears close to returning. Dallas was able to stay afloat without him, winning two of four games, but they are obviously a much strong team when they have their MVP candidate available. At +550, he’s third in the MVP race according to the odds at DK Sportsbook.
DraftKings Showdown Analysis
If he ends up playing without any sort of restrictions, it’s tough to not go with Doncic ($21,000) for captain. He’s averaging 58.35 DKFP this season and scored 78.25 DKFP in his only other game against the Spurs this season. Luka has thrashed just about every team he’s played this season and the Spurs are ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency.
If Doncic is out, we should expect a big game from Kristaps Porzingis ($15,900). In the last four games without Luka, KP is averaging 50.94 DKFP and has scored at least 44 DKFP in each game. This has come with an inflated usage rating, which shouldn’t come as a shock since Porzingis has a 30.3% usage rating for the season when Doncic is off the floor.
If Doncic sits, the other Mav we need to consider is Jalen Brunson ($8,400). He’s taken over the point guard duties with Dallas down it’s young star and he’s filled in well. Brunson is averaging 35.88 DKFP since the injury to Doncic, but we can ignore him if Luka plays. Coming off the bench, Brunson is averaging just 15.25 DKFP.
Even though he’s played fairly well without Doncic, Delon Wright ($3,600) shouldn’t be impacted much by Luka’s potential return. He’s only playing about 20 minutes per game over the last four games, which is the same as what he’s been playing all season. As a reserve, Wright is playing 20.3 minutes per game and averaging 20.03 DKFP. An average game from him would be a solid return on his salary.
I haven’t forgotten that there are two games playing in this game. As of late, the Spurs have been willing to play Derrick White ($5,000) and Dejounte Murray ($7,600) together at time, leading to increased production for both of the guards. Murray has scored at least 29 DKFP in five consecutive games and White has gone over 25 DKFP in three of his last four games.
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