Kristaps Porzingis and Jason Kidd clear protocols: To return vs. Magic

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have finally cleared the health and safety protocols as Kristaps Porzingis and head coach Jason Kidd exited on Jan. 15. It was a month-long bout for the Mavs that saw 11 players and multiple coaches enter and exit the protocols.

KP missed six straight games in the protocols and has yet to play since the calendar flipped over to 2022. The Mavs have won seven of their last eight games and are now fully healthy as they look to keep climbing the standings.

Porzingis missed two weeks in the protocols but is expected to play on Saturday night against the Orlando Magic. Expect coach Kidd to be back on the sidelines, but he is likely to limit the Unicorn’s minutes. Here is a closer look at why the Mavericks' recent stretch has been so impressive.

Kristaps Porzingis and Jason Kidd exit protocols as Dallas Mavericks look to stay hot

KP’s return means the Mavs had to find a way to keep Marquese Chriss for the remainder of the season. They waived Willie Cauley-Stein on Saturday to open space on their roster and signed Chriss to a two-year deal. The Mavericks putting so many players in the health and safety protocols opened the door to sign Chriss and Theo Pinson, who are now both part of their 17-man roster.

Dallas has played their best basketball of the season recently without ever being healthy. Kristaps Porzingis and head coach Jason Kidd missed the most recent stretch, but their winning streak started without Luka Doncic in the lineup. The Mavs defensive improvements are real, and the team is dangerous on both ends when healthy.

Surviving an extended stretch without multiple key players will make the Mavericks stronger long-term. It opened up spots for Chriss, Pinson, Josh Green, and others to be in the rotation and prove themselves. Dallas is a deeper and more dangerous team because of this stretch.

The Dallas Mavericks are far from done. They want to keep climbing the standings, so they can host a first-round playoff series. Fans should stay tuned because the best is still yet to come from the 2021-2022 Mavs. With KP and coach Kidd back, the team is ready to prove that.

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