Kristaps Porzingis enters health and safety protocols: Out vs. Nuggets

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are dealing with a COVID outbreak as they have placed 11 players and three coaches in the health and safety protocols since Dec. 18. It appeared they were finally coming out on the other side when Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Maxi Kleber exited the protocols on Jan. 1, but Kristaps Porzingis was added on Jan. 3.

The Mavs currently have five players on the COVID list, and they will all miss Monday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets. Brandon Knight and Isaiah Thomas signed as replacement players before entering the protocols, and Knight’s ten-day deal has since expired. Dallas has not canceled any games, but they have played shorthanded with hardship signees seeing significant minutes.

KP enters the protocols just as the Mavericks appeared to be getting healthy. He is out against the Nuggets and will likely miss more time. The NBA shortened the quarantine time in recent weeks, but when will the Unicorn return? Here is a closer look at how the Mavs have fared.

Kristaps Porzingis enters health and safety protocols: Likely out multiple games

The Mavs sat KP out of Sunday night's win in Oklahoma City to rest. He was taking on a massive workload with five regular rotation players out in the protocols, so Luka and others returning was the perfect opportunity to give the Unicorn a break.

Reggie Bullock, Maxi Kleber, and Tim Hardaway Jr. all missed six games before exiting the protocols. Luka Doncic sat ten straight, but he was healing an ankle injury for the first five. Josh Green only missed four contests, but all five players that have entered and exited the protocols have been in for about ten days.

Ten days on the sidelines means Porzingis will miss the next five games, including facing his former team, the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 12 in a nationally televised game on ESPN. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Luka Doncic both reported symptoms with their COVID battles, so it is something to monitor as KP enters the protocols.

The Dallas Mavericks will have to survive multiple games without Kristaps Porzingis. Expect more minutes for Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, and Marquese Chriss as the Mavs look to climb back into the top six in the Western Conference. Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on KP and the Mavericks this season.

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