Dallas Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis thrives in second game of back-to-back
Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis missed the first nine games of the 2020-2021 season as he recovered from offseason knee surgery. The Unicorn is still finding his rhythm and working his way back to 100 percent. He answered a massive question on Monday night, though.
Porzingis missed the entire 2018-2019 season as he recovered from a torn ACL. The Mavs were cautious with him last year. They worked him in gradually and were quick to rest the 7’3 big man in one-half of back-to-back sets. KP played on zero days of rest four times all season. He averaged just 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in those contests.
Fans expected Porzingis to be rested during back-to-backs again this season, but that did not happen against the Raptors on Jan. 18. KP had a monster performance too. Let us take a look at his game, and what it means for the Unicorn going forward.
Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis shines on second night of a back-to-back
Porzingis playing in a back-to-back this early in the season was a positive sign. The Mavs were missing four players in the health and safety protocols, which helped the case to keep KP active. The Unicorn responded with 23 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks in 32 minutes of action against the Raptors. It was one of his best games of the young season.
Porzingis was eight of 14 from the field on Monday. He hit two 3-pointers. KP also got inside for back-to-back easy dunks, which fans can see below.
Porzingis had this to say about his clearance to play in back-to-backs after the loss to the Raptors.
"“The medical staff, they know I am eager to play always and that was the same case last year. Last year, they were maybe more careful because I was coming back from the ACL injury. This year, I am happy that I am allowed to play back-to-backs. We will see how it works going forward, but I am happy I was able to be out there with my teammates.”"
The 25-year-old’s strong play should give the coach Carlisle and the medical staff no hesitation in using him in the next back-to-back set. Porzingis played over 32 minutes on both ends and showed no ill effects.
Fans will not have to wait long to see if KP continues to suit up in both games because the Mavs play Friday and Saturday this week. They also have three back-to-back sets between now and Feb. 4.
It is a brutal schedule made worse by the team’s COVID issues. One silver lining of the team’s three-game losing streak is Kristaps Porzingis played well on the second night of a back-to-back set. The Dallas Mavericks are going to need him in those situations if they plan on finishing in the top four in the Western Conference this season.
The Unicorn passed his first test on Jan. 18. It is something to watch moving forward, so stay tuned.