ESPN's Tim MacMahon reports that the Dallas Mavericks have downgraded superstar Luka Doncic to doubtful for Wednesday's clash against the Oklahoma City Thunder because the 22-year-old is dealing with low back tightness.
This is Dallas' last game before the upcoming All-Star break, and MacMahon added that Doncic is still on track to participate in Sunday's All-Star Game.
Doncic scored 33 points in Monday's 130-124 win over the Orlando Magic that improved the Mavericks to 17-16 overall. He is averaging 28.6 points, 9.0 assists and 8.4 rebounds per contest and, according to ESPN stats, is seventh in the Association with a 26.35 player efficiency rating. Heading into Wednesday evening, Doncic has played in 32 of 33 games this season.
Multiple noteworthy players, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox, previously criticized the league for holding an All-Star Game amid the COVID-19 pandemic. NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended that decision several weeks ago during an appearance on ESPN.
Dallas losing Doncic for even a brief amount of time because he played in an exhibition midseason game would be a silly risk to take during a standard campaign. With concerns about coronavirus variants growing among health experts, one wonders if Doncic will have second thoughts about Sunday's matchup before the weekend.