Luka Doncic Says The Mavs Miss Jalen Brunson ‘A Lot’

The Dallas Mavericks are rapidly approaching the end of their season, as they will watch Tuesday night as the Thunder take on the Warriors in San Francisco to find out if they’ll be 1.5 games or 0.5 games back of the 10-seed when they play again on Wednesday against the Kings.

It’s rather stunning that the Mavs are in 11th right now, just one year removed from a Western Conference Finals run. While not everyone expected them to be a top contender again, very few thought they’d find themselves in jeopardy of missing the play-in tournament entirely. With three games to play and OKC owning the tiebreaker, the Mavs likely need to win out to have a chance at making up the gap to the Thunder — and get some help in the process.

As such, there’s been rumblings about whether the team will shut down their stars and just punt on the end of the season, which Luka Doncic pushed back on immediately saying he’s playing until the Mavs season is done. However, that hasn’t stopped the conversation from feeling very final about the Mavs season, even in Doncic’s conversations with the media, most recently when he was asked how much the team misses Jalen Brunson, who is now starring for a Knicks team that is soon to lock up the 5-seed in the East. Doncic didn’t even try to hide how much he misses his former backcourt mate, unable to hide a smile as he spoke wistfully about Brunson.

When the Mavs let Brunson walk to New York, everyone knew it’d have an impact, but not many thought it’d be as disastrous for Dallas as it’s been — particularly after they traded for Kyrie Irving to try and fill that void. The problems extend beyond Brunson’s absence, but not retaining him required the Mavs to move key roster pieces for Irving, further causing balance issues that have wrecked havoc on their defensive strength.

As for Brunson, he also sees what’s going on with his old team and is surprised to see them struggling as much as they are, but isn’t focused too much on what they’re doing amid the Knicks’ playoff run.

You’d have been hard-pressed to find many that would’ve had the Knicks making a guaranteed playoff spot and the Mavs finishing outside the play-in coming into the season, but we are just a few games away from that being the reality and the Mavs needing to do some serious work this offseason to right the wrongs of this roster’s construction that started with not bringing Brunson back.