Mavs Notes: Doncic, Preseason, Holmes, Powell, THJ

Ahead of the Mavericks‘ exhibition game against Real Madrid on Tuesday, the team told Bally Sports Southwest that Luka Doncic would be limited to about five minutes of playing time due to a left calf strain. According to Marc Stein (Twitter link), Doncic “desperately” wanted to play more than that against his old team in Spain, but the Mavs opted to be “ultra-cautious” with its franchise player.

After the game, Dallas’ third consecutive preseason loss, Doncic told reporters that the injury is “nothing serious.” Still, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News writes, the Mavs are returning home from their three-game trip to Abu Dhabi and Spain with more questions than answers — due to Doncic’s calf injury and a groin strain for Kyrie Irving, the team hasn’t gotten to see its star backcourt play together much and hasn’t been able to assess how its new role players fit alongside Luka and Kyrie.

The Mavericks have more than a week off before they play their final preseason game on October 20, so the hope is that they’ll have a healthier roster by that point and will be able to get a longer look at their lineup before the regular season tips off.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Because the Mavericks were permitted to start training camp three days early due to their international trip, they’ll be required to have three non-practice days upon returning to Dallas on Thursday, Dwain Price writes at While players can complete individual workouts, the team won’t have a full practice again until Monday.
  • Richaun Holmes ended up with the Mavericks this offseason as part of a salary-dump trade that sent a first-round pick along with him from Sacramento to Dallas. However, Holmes should get a chance to vie for rotation minutes and he’s looking forward to being part of a franchise he has long admired, according to Price. “I think this has always been a place or organization that I’ve loved since I was a basketball fan coming up,” Holmes said. “So, to actually be here and see this place and see the Dirk (Nowitzki) statue outside, it’s truly amazing.”
  • Long-tenured Mavericks Dwight Powell and Tim Hardaway Jr. had great success as a three-man unit with Doncic last season, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that lineups featuring that trio outscored opponents by 11 points per 100 possessions. Still, in order for Dallas to take its next step toward legitimate contention, the team will likely need to eventually find upgrades on Powell and Hardaway, as Cato details.
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