Luka Doncic was supposed to serve a one-game suspension after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season on Friday night, which meant he would not suit up for the final game of the regular season on Sunday. However, after the NBA reviewed the technical foul, they rescinded the tech and Doncic is now eligible to play in the season finale for the Mavs against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Mavs (51-30) and Golden State Warriors (52-29) are fighting over the #3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Mavs hold a tie breaker over the Warriors, so if they win today and the Warriors lose their game against the New Orleans Pelicans, then the Mavs secure the #3 seed and the Warriors get the #4 seed.
Meanwhile, heading into Sunday, the Utah Jazz (48-33) and Denver Nuggets (48-33) are vying for the #5 seed.
The Warriors are +850 odds to win the 2022 NBA championship according to a recent update by DraftKings. The Mavs are +3000 odds to win the title, but they’re eleventh on the futures board.
The Warriors are the second favorite on the board to win the Western Conference at +425 odds, while the Mavs are +1000 to win the conference crown and lock up a spot in the NBA Finals.
Zebras Loathe Luka
On Friday night, officials issued in the Mavs and Trail Blazers game whistled Doncic for a technical foul in the first quarter for arguing a no-call.
It was the end of the first quarter with the Mavs up 23 points on the Trail Blazers. Doncic took umbrage for being undercut by Elijah Hughes from the Blazers, but there was no whistle. He snapped at official Tom Washington, who ignored the Verbose Doncic.
During the time out between quarters, Doncic made a beeline for crew chief Tony Brothers, who did not waste any time issuing a technical foul.
“At the end of the quarter he took a shot and he felt he got fouled,” clarified Brothers postgame. “He started to complain to each of the officials. When I was walking toward the table, he was 15 feet in the backcourt still complaining so he got a technical for continuously complaining.”
“If you ask me, I think 100% it should be rescinded, because it wasn’t a tech at all,” said Doncic after the game on Friday. “No warning, no nothing. I just asked him, ‘How is that not a call?’ Hopefully, it will be rescinded, so I can play Sunday.”
Doncic does not have a good relationship with officials because he whines and complains about every missed call. Head coach Jason Kidd knows that Doncic is a fiery competitor, but wants his superstar to let Kidd work the zebras and not Doncic.
Brothers actually tossed Kidd from a game earlier in the season against the Washington Wizards when he got back-to-back technical fouls.
Luka Dodges #16… Again
A player is allowed 15 technical fouls in the regular season before they get a suspension with #16. In the playoffs, it resets and players are allowed seven techs before a suspension kicks in. The NBA set forth this rule to discourage players from arguing calls, and to deter rough play from any bullies or enforcers.
Doncic earned 17 technical fouls last season, but he did not sit out any games because the league rescinded two of them after an additional review. He finished last season with 15.
If by chance Doncic gets T’d up on Sunday, he will have to wait until next season to serve his suspension and sit out the first game of the 2022-23 season.
In case you were wondering, Doncic has more technical fouls (16) this season than triple-doubles (10).
Doncic is the NBA’s third-best scorer averaging 28.5 ppg. He also averages 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game. His PER rating of 25.07 is ranked #5 in the NBA.