How is the Absence of Kristaps Porzingis Hurting Luka Doncic and Dallas Mavericks?

Published 12/26/2020, 6:30 AM EST
Dec 17, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


The Dallas Mavericks made a very crucial move when they traded to bring in Kristaps Porzingis. The 7’3″ Latvian was a much needed star alongside their franchise cornerstone, Luka Doncic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Latvian has been impressive in his time with the Mavs. If not for his injury against the Clippers, the Mavericks could have been very close to beating the Clippers side in the playoffs.

13 July 2018, Berlin, Germany: Kristaps Porzingis (R), power forward of the New York Knicks plays with youth players of the basketball team ALBA Berlin during a joint training session. The Latvian basketball player is currently on an advertising tour in Germany. Photo: Gregor Fischer/dpa (Photo by Gregor Fischer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Porzingis is still recovering from the knee surgery and will make his return, eventually. The Mavericks, meanwhile, have been very busy this off-season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Although they are missing Porzingis, Doncic and co. were expected to be much more competitive because of the new additions. But the early signs are concerning as Mavs struggles continue.

How has Porzingis’ injury affected the Dallas Mavericks?

Kristaps Porzingis is more than a traditional center. Given his frame, he is quick and can easily space the floor for the team. He is also a good defender and a big presence on the court.

The Mavs have some quality backups like Dwight Powell, Cauley Stein and Boban Marjanovic. But these players are not producing numbers anywhere close to what Porzingis produces.

Cauley Stein and Marjanovic do not lack in size, but they do lack in pace. This was pretty evident in the first two games, as the team is overly dependent on the guards.

Without their other star, the Mavs are suffering in the offensive end. The team was the best team in the offensive end last season. Porzingis’ ability to stretch the floor opened up more passing lanes for the team, creating much more opportunities in the offense.

DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 29: Kristaps Porzingis (6) of the Dallas Mavericks questions being called for charging Paul Millsap (4) of the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Doncic is also not at his 100%, physically. The 21-year-old is not in the best shape right now but still has produced the numbers expected of him. Richardson has also chimed in with the points. But The Unicorn’s output is missing right now.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The other department where the team is lacking right now is rebounding the ball, specifically offensive rebounds.

In the two games they have played, they have 9 rebounds. To give some context, the champions Los Angeles Lakers had 17 offensive rebounds against the Mavericks.

With the lack of offensive rebounds, the Mavs are lacking in the number of chances to score. With Porzingis, this number will certainly shoot up.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Rick Carlisle and the Mavs will hope that the Latvian is back to full fitness soon. With a tough run of fixtures coming up, the big man’s arrival will be handy for the team.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aditya Mohapatra

695 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT