Health of Kristaps Porzingis Could Determine Outcome of Mavs’ Season

Kristaps Porzingis

Getty Kristaps Porzingis questions a call in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Dallas Mavericks have turned a corner in the month of January, winning 12 of their 16 games this month. This streak of success has resulted in Dallas earning the fourth-best record over the last month. 

With that in mind, the Mavs’ success might not continue if Kristaps Porzingis isn’t on the court. He’s currently sidelined with a right knee injury, but is the team’s second best player and co-star alongside Luka Doncic. 

Porzingis left Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers early due to knee soreness. While it shouldn’t be a serious injury, it is concerning that he continues to have lingering knee issues. 

After that game, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd was asked about the injury and how long Porzingis could be out. 

“Boy, that’s a good question – I don’t know,” said Kidd postgame. “For further information, whatever the normal line is. I haven’t had a chance – I just saw him, I didn’t get a chance to ask what happened. But we’ll see how he feels.”

Shortly after, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported that Porzingis would not travel with the team to Orlando for the following game. Porzingis was set to stay in Dallas to get treatment on his knee.

The following night against the Orlando Magic, Porzingis’ absence proved to be detrimental. Despite having the worst record in the NBA, the Magic beat the Mavericks, capping off what was otherwise a great month of January. 

While every team has off nights, games against rebuilding teams like Orlando are tough to swallow. The Mavericks have aspirations to make a deep playoff push, meaning they’ll need to continue climbing the standings to have the best chance to do that. 

If Porzingis can’t stay healthy, what is their ceiling?

Lingering Issues

Over the past several years, Porzingis has missed a ton of games. In fact, he’s missed 63 games over the past three seasons. 

No team in the NBA is able to achieve the highest level of success when their second-best player is sidelined. It’s not surprising that the Mavericks have historically struggled when he misses time. 

This is especially true in the postseason, where he’s held the Mavs back. When he’s not in the lineup, Dallas hasn’t seen much success. 

Solid Production

When Porzingis is on the floor, he’s very good. Over the past three seasons with the Mavs, he’s averaged 20.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest while shooting 34.5% from deep. 

At 7-foot-3, he’s got the ability to change the game on both ends of the floor. Porzingis simply raises the ceiling for the Mavericks when he’s on the court and is one of the most unique players in the NBA.

Kristaps Porzingis

GettyKristaps Porzingis catches his breath in a game against the Phoenix Suns.

Again, this knee injury isn’t expected to be major, but it’s still concerning that he can’t stay healthy for extended periods of time. So far this season, Porzingis hasn’t played more than 12 consecutive games. 

With the talent to make a splash in the postseason, the health of the Mavs will ultimately be what determines how deep they’re able to go. Even in a highly talented Western Conference, Dallas is currently the sixth seed at 29-22 this season. 

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