The Dallas Mavericks held out Kristaps Porzingis for their back-to-back set on Thursday and Friday as he dealt with a back injury. They split the two games to run their record to 3-2 after their first five contests.
The Mavs need a healthy KP if they are going to be serious contenders in the Western Conference, so they have been cautious with his back injury. He was upgraded to questionable heading into Sunday’s matinee against the Sacramento Kings, but he was ruled out before tipoff.
The Mavericks face a tall task with the Unicorn out after Sacramento won all three games last season. How will Dallas adjust without KP against the Kings?
Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis to miss third straight game
The Kings will start Richaun Holmes at the five and play small around him. Expect the Mavericks to counter by going small. Dwight Powell will draw the start at the five with Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber taking most of KP’s playing time.
Sacramento wants to play fast and run. Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic will look to control the pace and lead Dallas to victory.
Tim Hardaway Jr. has gone cold in the last two games without Porzingis. He is just three of 15 from the field and two of nine from 3-point range, and the Mavericks need more from THJ on Sunday afternoon if they are going to top the Kings.
Maxi Kleber has showcased his rim protection without KP as he blocked seven shots in the last two games. Dallas will need him to step up when Sacramento attacks the basket.
Former Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes is leading the Kings in scoring this season. They will have a tall task in guarding him without Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup. It will be a cannot miss game, so please tune in and enjoy the show.