DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks host the Utah Jazz in a highly anticipated Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs on Saturday, April 16 at 12 p.m. CT. The Mavs have home-court advantage for the first time since 2011, which was the last time Dallas won a series.

Unfortunately for Dallas, star Luka Doncic suffered a sprained left calf in Sunday’s season finale. According to Shams Charania on Stadium, the Mavericks are expected to be without Doncic for Game 1. His injury status remains day-to-day, with mention of a potential 7-10 day recovery window which Charania says corresponds to a grade 1 strain.

During practice in Dallas on Thursday, coach Jason Kidd said Doncic was improving, with the team yet to report an official injury.

“With him, that doesn’t guarantee us anything,” Kidd said. “But we also played without him and found ways to win. So if he can’t go on Saturday afternoon, we have to be ready. We work all week to prepare. So we’ll see.

Any games Doncic misses could have a profound impact on the series, as Doncic (33.5) holds a slight lead over NBA legend Michael Jordan (33.4) when it comes to highest points per game in a playoff career. However, the Mavs backcourt has considerable depth with Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie both ready to step in if needed.

Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic

Spencer Dinwiddie and Luka Doncic.


Luka Doncic gives his teammates some love.

The Mavs will have their hands full with star guard Donovan Mitchell and Defensive Player of the Year nominee Rudy Gobert. Utah has the most effective offense in the league and a top-10 defense. Utah has struggled down the stretch of the season, going 5-7 in its last 12 games. Will Mitchell and Gobert get along well, now, when it counts?

BACKWARDS: The Jazz and Mavs have split their four regular season meetings, with both teams protecting their home court.

THE SOFTNESS OF HOME: Dallas is 20-4 in its last 24 games at the American Airlines Center. Over its last 24 home games, the Mavs are holding their opponents to just 99.7 points per game.

Scroll to continue

Recommended items


WHEN: Saturday, April 16, 2022, 12:00 p.m. CST

LOCATION: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)

TV/RADIO: ESPN, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL)


Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs are hoping Luka Doncic can play in Game 1 against the Jazz on Saturday.

Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas Mavericks

Will Spencer Dinwiddie be the Mavs’ X factor in the playoffs?

Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks

After a disappointing playoff series against the Clippers last year, Jalen Brunson hopes to turn things around this time around.

ODDS: The Mavs are currently 5 Point Underdogs at Jazz. We’ll see if that changes as we learn more about Doncic’s availability.

NEXT: Full playoff series below:

  • Game 1: Saturday, April 16 at 12:00 p.m. CST on ESPN
  • Game 2: Monday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. CST on NBAtv
  • Game 3: Thursday, April 21 at 8:00 p.m. CST on NBAtv
  • Game 4: Saturday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m. CST on TNT
  • Game 5: Monday, April 25, TBD
  • Match 6: Thursday, April 28, TBD
  • Game 7: Saturday April 30, TBD