It’s no secret that forward Kristaps Porzingis is extremely important for the success of the Dallas Mavericks. He’s their clear second-best player, but has had a problem staying healthy the past few seasons.
The 7-footer came into the 2021-22 season fully healthy, but had a slow start. Through the first three games of the season, Porzingis averaged just 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 30.2% from the floor.
To make things worse, he left that third game of the season early due to lower back soreness. Since then, he’s missed three consecutive contests with this lingering back issue.
Luckily for Dallas, the team has looked solid in the absence of Porzingis. In the three full games Porzingis has missed, the Mavs have gone 2-1.
“We just wanted to play a lot better to start the game no matter whoever is on the floor,” said Tim Hardaway Jr. following Sunday’s win over the Sacramento Kings.
The wins haven’t necessarily been pretty, but they’re victories nonetheless. The big loss this week was on the road against the Denver Nuggets, when the Mavericks lost by 31 points and really missed Porzingis’ presence.
It’s unclear whether he will be available for Dallas’ next game on Tuesday against the Miami Heat, but there’s at least some optimism that his back is getting better.
“He’s doing better, so that’s a good thing,” said Mavs coach Jason Kidd on Friday.
The Mavericks went 26-17 with Porzingis in the lineup last season. His health this season will make a direct impact on the success of Dallas.
They’re currently 4-2 on the season overall with a perfect 3-0 record at home.