Luka Doncic vows to continue playing as long as the Dallas Mavericks’ playoff hopes remain alive.
“I’m playing tomorrow,” Doncic told reporters after Tuesday’s practice, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “When there’s still a chance, I’m gonna play. So that’s not gonna happen yet.”
The Mavs were reportedly considering holding Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving out of the club’s final three regular-season contests.
While Dallas sits just one game back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 10 seed, the Mavs would lose the tiebreaker in the event both clubs finished with even records.
Based on the current standings, Dallas holds the 10th-best lottery odds. However, the Mavs would forfeit their 2023 first-round selection to the New York Knicks should their draft pick fall out of the top 10 as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
Doncic is officially listed as probable for Wednesday’s contest against the Sacramento Kings due to a left thigh injury. The Mavs star has battled injuries throughout the 2022-23 campaign, missing four games in February due to a heel contusion and another five in March with the aforementioned thigh ailment.
Doncic trails only Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid in usage rate this season. The 24-year-old admitted that he has struggled with fatigue after playing for the Slovenian national team in the offseason and carrying a greater offensive load following Jalen Brunson’s free-agent departure.
Still, Doncic put the onus on himself for Dallas’ shortcomings this season.
“But that’s not an excuse,” Doncic said. “I’m still young, age-wise, but it’s a lot of basketball. But I gotta be way better.
“I’m the leader of this team. The one to blame is me.”
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