Dallas Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis is looking more like himself

Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks have been leaning heavily on the shoulders of Luka Doncic so far this season, but after a stretch of games without the Slovenian wonder, Mavs fans were able to get a glimpse of their other star.

No one wanted to see Luka Doncic go down with an injury this season, even if it was a relatively minor thing. The NBA saw a money-maker in Luka’s meteoric rise to stardom, fans saw their favorite player go down in a heap and the Dallas Mavericks realized they were going to have to find nearly 30 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds each night for a few weeks.

The assists fell into the hands of Jalen Brunson, which worked out well considering how well the rest of the Mavs have shot over the past week and a half. Brunson may not be the passer that Luka is, but he is a great floor general and stepped into the lead guard role fairly seamlessly. That still left some points and rebounds to be desired.

Several players contributed to these stats, but the biggest improvement came with the highest paid player on the team, Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis has been special over the past several games. He is averaging over 22 points and nearly 14 rebounds per games since Luka has been out.

Although KP has been slightly less reliable as a true primary scoring option, his scoring ability shouldn’t be in question. The Mavericks didn’t trade for Porzingis to be a primary scoring option either, he is just supposed to be the next guy up for Luka. We don’t want him to be the top scorer, but it’d be nice if he is the second top scorer most nights.

This time without Luka may not have gone so well by the record, but the growth from the team around Luka could pay huge dividends going forward. Growth from various players like Brunson, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, Delon Wright, Ryan Broekhoff and KP have been evident and each of them need to remember what they did when Luka was out once he is back.

Over the past five games, Porzingis has averaged almost as many points as he did in his All-Star season. His rebounds and assists are up, his blocks are as high as ever and he is starting to shoot the ball at a higher percentage, something he really needs to get up.

Next. Stacking up Luka Doncic in the MVP race

The Mavs are still a great team and if they can translate what they have done without Luka back into the Doncic era, this team is going to be really scary for the remainder of the season and may really fight for a top four seed in the Western Conference.