Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis is inching towards a return to the floor. Coach Rick Carlisle recently said he expects to see him sooner rather than later:
And Monday at the AAC against visiting New Orleans might be the “sooner,” as KP has been upgraded to “questionable” for a game that would mark his NBA season debut. ... and in the game notes is listed as a probable starter.
Porzingis, who suffered a torn meniscus during the first round of the 2020 playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers, has been able to participate fully in all of this past week's practices and will look to make an immediate impact for the Mavericks, who are presently 5-4.
The Latvian star averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds prior to his injury in his first season with the Mavericks.
Many players have stepped up in his absence. Center Willie Cauley-Stein, who started the game against the Rockets and put up 15 points, seven rebounds, and two assists in the Mavericks 113-100 win, is one of those. Another bright spot was Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 30 points off the bench.
Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic had some positive words on Cauley-Stein's first start of the season.
"He was great,'' Luka said. "He was great the whole game. He was open. This offseason, he's been practicing. He's been doing great stuff. We're really happy to have him."
The Mavericks will aim to move two games over .500 and build upon their winning week when they face New Orleans, a game expected to be played despite the team’s COVID concerns ... but may with Porzingis.