Mavericks surprisingly list Luka Doncic as questionable for NBA Finals Game 2

2024 NBA Finals Practice and Media Availability
2024 NBA Finals Practice and Media Availability

BOSTON — In an unexpected move hours before tip-off, the Dallas Mavericks officially downgraded Luka Doncic to questionable for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The reasons given were "Thoracic contusion, right knee sprain, and left ankle soreness." While Doncic has been playing through the ankle and knee issues for most of the playoffs, the thoracic contusion — a chest wall bruise — is new.

It would be shocking if Doncic didn't play, or at least didn't try to play on Sunday, and coach Jason Kidd will address the issue pregame. Doncic went through a practice with the team on Saturday, part of it in front of the media, and he didn't show any apparent signs of injury, nor did he say anything to suggest he was feeling more banged up than usual. This isn't gamesmanship from the Mavericks, it's no secret Doncic has been playing through knee and ankle issues, but it may be an acknowledgment the aches and pains are piling up.

It's bad news for Dallas if Doncic can't play — the Mavs went 4-8 in games he missed this season and their offensive rating dropped 8.5 points per 100 possessions when he was off the court.

Already down 0-1 to a deep and impressive Celtics team, the Mavericks need a better showing in Game 2, and that has to start with Doncic and Kyrie Irving beating their guys and getting the Boston defense into rotation. If Doncic isn't right and can't do that, things get much harder going forward for Dallas.