Dallas Mavericks: Everyone should watch out for Kristaps Porzingis’ peak

Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks are six games into their regular season and newly acquired big man, Kristaps Porzingis, is struggling getting back to form.

The Dallas Mavericks are 4-2 and two missed calls away from being 6-0 to start the 2019-20 NBA season. They have been led by the incredible play of Luka Doncic in almost all of these games and he has truly looked like one of the best players in the league, regardless of position or conference.

Dallas is currently leading the NBA in offensive efficiency, which is calculated by the average number of points a team scores per 100 possessions. The Mavs are currently scoring a whopping 113.1 points per 100 possessions. The LA Clippers are in second place with an average of 112.2 points.

This high octane offense is a result of several factors. Luka’s impressive play is obviously one of the big ones, but the Mavs bench is another source of strength that sets them apart from everyone else. The bench unit (which currently consists of pretty much everyone except Luka and Kristaps Porzingis) has been playing great basketball through the first couple weeks.

Everyone is playing really good basketball for the most part, but one player in particular has been pretty underwhelming through six games. Kristaps Porzingis may not be playing at the highest level as of now, but he is playing at the level that most of us expected to start this first season back from such a long recovery. There was always bound to be rust there.

Dallas Mavericks

One of the cool things about the start of the year so far has actually been Porzingis’ ability to give us a glimpse into what will likely be a more consistent occurrence in the near future. In his first week of action, Porzingis was scoring 26.3 points, grabbing 5.7 rebounds and blocking 2.7 shots per game. He was shooting over 40% from three and 46% from the field.

The digression came in the form of the Mavs games against the Lakers and Nuggets, where Porzingis had trouble getting the ball to drop through the hoop. Those were less than ideal games to have Luka with no sidekick, but the Mavs managed to make it work thanks to some guys off the bench stepping up to help.

Porzingis did not get as many shots up in the most recent game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he shot a great percentage from the field and from three-point range. He also cumulated 9 rebounds and 6 blocks.

Now four good games out of six is certainly not something Mavs fans should be complaining about, but in reality, we still have not seen what Porzingis is capable of at his best. He was one of the premier offensive threats in the league before his knee injury, and putting him next to Luka should make him near lethal. It will make him near lethal, but it will take a little time.

Once KP is more comfortable on the court, I expect to see the offense flow through him on a more regular basis. Luka has been running the offense pretty much every second he is on the court, but when he has KP playing his brand of basketball, Doncic will be better about taking a bit of a side role at times in order to maximize Porzingis’ effectiveness.

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I cannot wait to see what Kristaps Porzingis brings to the table when he is fully back from that injury. I am not sure if he will be just like his old self or if his game will adapt to his new surroundings. All I know is that he is going to be great, we just need to be patient with him while he gets it all sorted out.