With just three games to go into the 2021-22 campaign, the Mavericks are already grappling with an injury to one of their most important players.
Dallas big man Kristaps Porzingis is struggling with a back problem, and while that may not turn out to be a long-term problem, it’s yet another injury to add to the list. He has played in 103 of 150 possible games in the last two regular seasons and more due to various health issues.
What is Porzingis ‘status ahead of Dallas’ next game? Here are the latest updates on the 26-year-old.
NBA League Pass: Sign Up to Unlock Live Off Market Games (7 Day Free Trial)
Will Kristaps Porzingis perform tonight?
Porzingis is listed as being on the official Mavericks injury report with what the team are calling ” lower back tightness. He left Dallas’ 116-106 victory over Houston on Tuesday night after playing just 20 minutes. He finished with nine points and three rebounds.
Before Porzingis was sent off, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told reporters the team would suffer Porzingis’ injury “one day at a time”.
“This will be our first back-to-back, so I hope [Thursday] by the afternoon we’ll have a plan of what we’re going to do, ”Kidd said on Wednesday (via The Dallas Morning News). But first, we just want to see how he feels and hopefully he can go. ”
MORE: Are Russell Westbrook’s turnovers a big deal for the Lakers?
Kristaps Porzingis’ first fights under Jason Kidd
Prior to a back injury, Porzingis struggled to regain his scoring touch from last season. In three games, he has averaged 12.7 points on 30.2 / 23.5 / 72.7 shooting points (field goal / 3-pointers / free throws). In 2020-2021, Porzingis scored 20.1 points per game while shooting 47.6 / 37.6 / 85.5.
During the Dallas media day, Kidd noted that Luka Doncic had to rely on his teammates more often, especially Porzingis. Kidd wanted Porzingis to be more than just a sniper and said he wouldn’t be “limited to shooting 3s or crashing from the corner”.
Unfortunately for the Mavericks, Porzingis has been ineffective in several areas. Among players who have recorded at least two post-ups per game, Porzingis is tied for last in points per possession (0.50), according to statistics from NBA.com. It also shoots less than 40% on its mid-range attempts.
It’s still very early in the season, sure, but Dallas will need Porzingis to be much more productive offensively if they are to be taken seriously as a Western Conference contender.
Spurs injury report against Mavericks
(Current at 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday)
|Mavericks||Brown Sterling||Outside||Left ankle; sprain|
|Mavericks||Trey Burke||Outside||Health and safety protocols|
|Mavericks||Boban Marjanovic||Questionable||Lower back; sealing|
|Mavericks||Kristaps Porzingis||Outside||Lower back; sealing|
|Spurs||Devontae Cacok||Outside||G League – both ways|
|Spurs||Zach Collins||Outside||Left ankle; stress fracture|
|Spurs||Doug McDermott||Outside||Right knee; inflammation|
|Spurs||Joshua Cousin||Outside||G League — en mission|
|Spurs||Joe Wieskamp||Outside||G League – both ways|