The Dallas Mavericks have won four straight and five of their last six games without Kristaps Porzingis. They are heating up at the right time as they attempt to avoid the play-in tournament. The Mavs are currently fifth and two games up on the Los Angeles Lakers, who are the first team in play-in, with four left in the regular season.
Fans have been worried about heading into the playoffs without Kristaps Porzingis. He has played in just one of the team’s last ten games. The Unicorn suffered a sprained ankle against the Lakers on April 22, which forced him to miss three games. He returned versus the Pistons before leaving in the third quarter with what the team is calling knee soreness.
The Dallas Mavericks gave an update on KP’s status, and he talked about the injury following practice on Monday. Porzingis is set to miss one more game but could play in the team’s final three regular-season contests. Here is a closer look at the latest.
Kristaps Porzingis talks injury: Out as Dallas Mavericks face Grizzlies on May 11
Coach Rick Carlisle talked about Porzingis’ injury and when he is set to return to the court following the team’s practice on May 10.
"“KP is going to be out tomorrow, but we would like to have him ready to play against New Orleans. We just feel like the extra day, particularly with the practice today, is very helpful for him. That is all subject to how he’s feeling, but he’s done very well in the last ten days, in terms of significant gradual progress.”"
Carlisle noted that Porzingis returning before the end of the regular season was a plus. It will give him three games to ramp up before the postseason. If the Mavericks avoid the play-in, they will have six days off following the regular-season finale on May 16. The additional rest and practice time could be just what KP needs to play his best in the postseason.
Porzingis had this to say when asked about returning during the regular season.
"“Just being with the team. It wouldn’t be right if I start the playoffs. We’ve been building this whole regular season, so I don’t want to miss any games at all. I want to be a part of everything, but it is what it is. Hopefully, I can get those last few games in to make sure my conditioning is good. Just to clean everything up to make sure we are on point and ready to go for the playoffs.”"
KP was asked about this knee injury and its similarity to missing ten games in the 2019-2020 season with knee soreness. See his response below.
"“It’s weird because it started with the ankle. Maybe it was because you limp a little bit with the ankle and the knee started bothering me a little bit. I’m not sure. I don’t want to give any medical what I have going on. I’ll leave that to the doctors. I’m just doing my part to make sure that I’m healthy, that my legs are strong, and that I’m ready to go.”"
Porzingis noted that is looking forward to the offseason to get some much-needed practice time with the team and get himself back healthy. He answered about his concern level of being injury prone.
"“No, I’m not, and I shouldn’t be. Whenever I play, I have to be confident in my abilities. The ACL was a contact injury. This was a contact injury. I cannot worry too much about what can happen on the court… I truly believe with a good offseason working on my movements, I will be healthy and be able to stay healthy for a long time, which is something I expect for myself.”"
Fans can see the full post-practice interview with Kristaps Porzingis below.
The fact that KP is feeling healthy and is nearing a return to the court is a massive plus for the Dallas Mavericks. They need the Unicorn to make a deep playoff run.
Fans should keep a close eye on his play on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Having a healthy Porzingis that is playing his best makes the Mavs difficult to top.
Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on Kristaps Porzingis, plus everything Dallas Mavericks fans crave on the postseason. Do not miss it.