Extra Pass: Doncic-less Mavericks set to face Thunder

Published December 12, 2021, 5:00 PMRenee Ticzon

With Luka Doncic out, Kristaps Porzingis and the Mavericks will have their hands full as they take on the Thunder.

The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to redeem themselves after their recent losses. Catch the game live at 8:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines via Smart GigaPlay app or Cignal TV.

The Mavericks have fallen below the .500 mark after their loss to the Indiana Pacers. Despite a near-triple-double performance for Luka Doncic (27 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists) and a huge 22-point showing from Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavs still found themselves at the losing end of the match. 

The Mavericks had the lead late in the third quarter, but a 16-4 run by the Pacers in the fourth quarter could give you an idea of what kind of collapse happened as the game came to a close.

Unfortunately, the situation is not new for Dallas. They’ve struggled to find chemistry this season. The Doncic-Porzingis duo has been performing fairly well, but their success has yet to translate into team wins. This is why games against rebuilding teams are so important for them right now. 

Getting a win against a non-contender may not be the confidence-booster that they need, but improving their record will help them in the end regardless. Doncic will be out after reinjuring his ankle so the rest of the crew needs to step up in his absence.

Meanwhile, OKC has already rattled the NBA several times this season. This is the type of team whose record doesn’t entirely capture what kind of year they're having.  The Thunder already beat the Los Angeles Lakers twice, came close against the L.A. Clippers, and closed out with a win against the Toronto Raptors.

The unconventional duo of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey works, and no one from Oklahoma is complaining. SGA is averaging 21.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists, while Giddey gets 10.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. The Thunder are pretty good for a rebuilding team, so they can’t entirely be counted out (at least for the play-in).

It will be fun to watch the Thunder try to push their luck, especially against a Doncic-less Mavericks team.