Dallas Mavericks key to victory over LA Clippers: 3. Healthy KP
Kristaps Porzingis missed ten of the Mavericks’ final 14 regular-season games, but he played in the last three and looked healthy. No team wants to face the Mavericks when they are at full strength. The Clippers saw how dangerous Luka and KP can be last season.
The Mavericks were up by five points when Porzingis was ejected in Game 1 of their playoff series on a second technical foul. Dallas won Game 2 with both stars playing the entire contest. Doncic injured his ankle in Game 3 and missed nearly the entire fourth quarter, but the Mavs stayed in the contest behind a 34-point performance from the Unicorn. KP missed the rest of the series with a meniscus injury that forced him to have offseason surgery.
It will be interesting to see how coach Rick Carlisle deploys Porzingis this year. The Clippers are going to start with Kawhi Leonard guarding the Unicorn. That means if Luka and KP run pick and rolls, the Klaw will switch onto Doncic. Expect the 7’3 big man to be used more as a floor spacer and post-up threat against mismatches versus LA.
The Mavericks need a nightly 20 points and ten rebounds from Kristaps Porzingis to defeat the LA Clippers. Can the Unicorn stay healthy and produce it? It is one of the keys to the series.
Next: No. 2