The Dallas Mavericks have been hit hard by COVID-19, and it has forced the team to play shorthanded for the last two weeks. Superstar Luka Doncic has been out of the lineup since Dec. 10 because of an ankle injury and a stint in the health and safety protocols, but Kristaps Porzingis has kept the Mavs afloat.
The Unicorn missed two games with toe soreness but returned for the team’s Christmas Day battle against the Utah Jazz, and immediately proved why he is the Mavs most important player. The Mavericks have split the last four contests with KP averaging 27.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steal, and 2.3 blocks in 33.5 minutes per game.
Dallas has put ten players in the health and safety protocols over the last two weeks, but they are finally coming out on the other side. Reggie Bullock and Josh Green are already back, and three more players, including Luka Doncic cleared protocols on Jan. 1 and will return against the Thunder, which creates an opportunity for the Mavs to rest Porzingis.
Kristaps Porzingis (rest) out as Dallas Mavericks face Thunder in Oklahoma City
The Mavs want KP healthy for the playoffs, which is why the team keeps him around 30 minutes per game on the season. His playing time has crept up in recent games by necessity, but with players returning, Dallas decided to rest Porzingis.
The news should not come as a surprise. The Mavericks listed the Unicorn as doubtful yesterday, but they wanted to make sure others would be returning before officially ruling him out.
The Dallas Mavericks face the Thunder on Sunday night before returning to Texas to host the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 3. Expect Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup at the American Airlines Center. The Unicorn has been fantastic this season, and that play will continue to Monday night as the Mavs finally get healthy. The best is yet to come for KP and the team, so stay tuned.