The Dallas Mavericks have been without Kristaps Porzingis for five consecutive games and is still without a timetable for his return. In his absence, the Mavs need more from Dwight Powell.
Without Kristaps Porzingis, this Dallas Mavericks team has really struggled finding consistency. On the offensive side of the ball, there is a gap between Porzingis’ shooting and everyone else’s. On defense, the gap grows even bigger and it has been pretty obvious how badly he is missed in Dallas.
The news on Kristaps is still pretty slow to come in. It is unclear exactly what has held him out of play for this long, but it seems that a knee injury and an illness have come together to hold him out for at least a few more games on top of the ones he has already missed. It sounds like he is already ruled out for both tonight’s game against the Lakers and tomorrow’s vs. the 76ers.
In KP’s absence, Dwight Powell has had to step up in a number of ways. Although Powell does not have the skillset that Porzingis does, he has done fairly well. No one expected Powell to become a world class defender overnight, but he still puts in a lot of effort each and every play.
On the offensive end, Powell remains an incredible finisher above the rim, although he has struggled with some consistency. It’s kind of frustrating knowing just how effective Powell can be on offense but not getting to see it every single game.
That is something the Mavs need right now, perhaps more than any other time so far this season. The lack of consistency around Luka Doncic since Porzingis went down has been frustrating and has left Luka with a hard time finding the right guys to hit when they are open. The bench has fallen victim to this along with Powell.
I want to love what Powell is doing when he is on the court. He is a smart player that never takes a play off and has probably the highest motor on the team, yet we still get some moments that can be kind of cringeworthy. Until Dwight can regain his confidence and play at the level he did last year at least, Luka will continue to have no truly reliable teammates on the court each night.
Powell is never going to be the best player on the court, but he has the ability to be one of the most consistent. That is what we need from the big man, at least until the return of Kristaps Porzingis.