Friday, April 19

Luka Doncic suspension: Will Mavericks superstar miss final regular season game?

If you are planning on tuning into the Mavericks vs. Spurs matchup on Sunday, don’t expect to see Luka Doncic in uniform.

The All-Star guard picked up his 16th technical of the season in Dallas’ matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach that gets 16 technical fouls during the regular season will automatically be suspended without pay for one game. 

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Donic was T’ed up by referee Tony Brothers after he thought he got fouled on a buzzer-beating shot to end the first quarter. Here is the play in question, which does appear to show Doncic getting fouled by Blazers guard Elijah Hughes on the shoulder:

Like with all technical fouls, the NBA will review this play and could possibly rescind the call. However, based on Doncic’s actions toward Brothers, it seems unlikely that the league will decide to do that.

Will Luka Doncic be suspended for any playoff games?

The good news for both Doncic and the Mavs is that the NBA resets player’s technical-foul count to zero in the postseason, meaning he will not miss any playoff games to start.

In the playoffs, players get suspended after their seventh technical foul instead of 16. When Dallas heads into the first round of the playoffs, Doncic will start the postseason with a clean slate when it comes to technical fouls.

The Mavericks will finish no lower than fourth in the West standings. 

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Luka Doncic technical foul history

As he has shown time and time again throughout his career, Doncic is no stranger to picking up technical fouls. In fact, it has been an ongoing theme of his. Last season, he had 17 technical fouls and in the 2019-2020 season, Doncic had 13. Interestingly enough, in his rookie year (2018-2019), Doncic only had five technical fouls. 

Doncic is well aware of his propensity to pick up technicals and his hot-headedness towards officials. Back in March, he even told reporters that he has learned to start singing to himself instead of verbally abusing the refs.

“It’s a funny thing — I just start singing a song in my head,” Doncic said. “One of my favorite songs I pick and just start singing and let [the frustration] pass.

“I think these last couple of games I’ve been great with officials. If I think I’m fouled, I just go to him and talk to him normal. But that’s it. It’s got to be this way.”

And on top of the singing, Doncic even admitted on an appearance on former teammate J.J. Redick’s podcast, “Old Man and the Three,” that he was through arguing with referees. 

“Well, I had a little talk with myself,” Doncic said. “Real talk, it was unacceptable no more, the way I was acting. Maybe some of my personal issues or everything, but I had a talk with myself and I just said, this can’t keep going. It’s a really bad look. I knew I was doing this, but I kept doing it. So it’s over. It’s over now. I had a talk with myself. No more, man.”

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Based on his actions towards Tony Brothers on Friday, Doncic is clearly not “over” arguing with referees. 

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