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Kristaps Porzingis likely out vs. Pels: Who steps up for Mavericks?

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have a rematch with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night after they had a historic shooting performance in Louisiana on Dec. 1. Dallas has won both meetings so far this season against the Pels, but things will be more difficult on Friday.

Kristaps Porzingis was downgraded to doubtful by the team on Friday afternoon, and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported he is unlikely to play. It is the first of a back-to-back set, so it is unclear if Mavs are just resting KP or if he suffered another knee injury. Stay tuned for updates on the Unicorn as they become available.

How will the Mavericks adjust without Porzingis on Dec. 3? What answers will they have for Jonas Valanciunas and the Pelicans inside? Let us take a closer look.

Kristaps Porzingis likely out vs. Pelicans: Who steps up for Mavericks?

There is still a small chance that KP plays on Friday night, but that doubtful tag and midday downgrade suggests he is heading towards being ruled out. Fans should be sure to check on his final status.

When the Mavericks downgraded the Unicorn, they upgraded the status of Frank Ntilikina to probable. The 6’4 guard has missed four straight games with a calf injury but appears likely to return on Dec. 3 against the Pelicans.

Willie Cauley-Stein is also out, so Dallas is a bit light on big men. Expect Dwight Powell to remain in the starting five and be joined by Maxi Kleber in place of Kristaps Porzingis. Kleber will play a massive role as the team’s weak-side rim protector and floor spacer.

The Dallas Mavericks will likely call on Boban Marjanovic to counter Jonas Valanciunas at some point. The 7’4 big man is difficult to control in the paint, and they need someone to counter JV’s size and strength inside.

The Pelicans will be selling out to stop Luka Doncic on Dec. 3. Expect the Mavericks superstar to have a massive performance as the team looks for their 12th win of the season. Luka has produced two straight historic performances, and fans won’t want to miss Friday’s game as he looks for a third. Stay tuned for updates on Porzingis as they become available.

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