Dallas Mavericks G Luka Doncic and PF/C Kristaps Porzingis are both listed as out for Thursday’s game vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder. Doncic and Porzingis are being designated as “injury recovery” which is a new one. The Mavs are coming off a win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. So on the second night of a back-to-back coming off the All-Star Break, Dallas will give both studs a game off. The Thunder will be without Darius Bazley for similar reasons.
Update: So the Mavericks are indeed starting Brunson in place of Doncic at PG. He’s one of my favorite plays on the slate but will be pretty chalky. Willie Cauley-Stein ($3,000) will start at min-price. I’m not sure how much he’ll actually play. Still, if WCS gets around say 15-20 minutes, returning value at this price won’t be difficult. My lean would still be on Kleber and THJ as well as Brunson. DFS and J-Rich aren’t awful plays given they’ll likely carry less ownership.
There’s a decent amount to unpack with this news. The Mavericks will need to replace two starters. We can expect Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell to be the two players to enter the starting lineup. So Dallas should run out Brunson, Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and Powell. Brunson’s price is a bit elevated on DraftKings at $5,500, but that’s still a great deal. We’ve seen Brunson step up off the bench and has had some big performances filling in for Doncic over the past two seasons.
To me, Brunson is the clear pivot on the slate. You’ll need to pay up elsewhere from Doncic, so that could mean a lot of lineups pivot to James Harden ($11,000) or Damian Lillard ($10,700). You could mix things up and look at Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) coming off the ASG MVP. The Bucks need a big second half to finish as the top seed in the East again. Stephen Curry ($10,200) and Trae Young ($9,900) also feel like good GPP pivots off Doncic.
Kleber ($4,200) feels like the chalk pivot with Porzingis sidelined. If Powell ($3,000) isn’t the one starting and he’s still banished on the bench, Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,900) is a great value play as well. THJ can fill it up and the Mavs will need to make up a big chunk of their offense with Doncic and Porzingis out — almost 50 points per game.
If you can get in on any props before the lines shift, THJ, Brunson and Richardson would be the players to target. Finney-Smith’s rebounding props aren’t a bad idea either. The Mavs could start THJ and Brunson, shifting DFS to power forward and Kleber to center. The line on this game was Mavericks -5.5. With Doncic and Porzingis out, we’d still probably lean Dallas given that Bazley is sidelined. See what the line looks like when things are adjusted, it could open up some value for the Mavericks spread and ML.