The NBA has decided that as it tries to do its part in the fight against social injustice, these NBA Playoffs in the Bubble will go on. That means the Dallas Mavericks are playing their first-round Game 6 against the Clippers - initially slated for Thursday - on Sunday afternoon.
But there is more news: big man Kristaps Porzingis will not play. In this game. Or for the rest of the series ... and quite likely, the season.
The Mavericks announced Friday that Porzingis has been receiving treatment for a lateral meniscus tear of his right knee and further treatment options are being explored at this time. Porzingis sustained the injury in Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
Porzingis, the Mavs say, has not been medically cleared to play for the remainder of the Mavericks’ first-round series and will not be available.
Said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle before the announcement: "He did not practice (Friday). He got treatment and did some rehab work. He's very doubtful for (Sunday).'
And now "very doubtful'' is ... gone.
The social-injustice-related postponement of NBA games this week, those involved have decided, will allow the resumption of games. The Mavs will play Game 6 in the bubble at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday.
"Right now, basketball stands for the fight against social injustice,'' Carlisle said.
And KP? Carlisle on Wednesday described the effort to get Porzingis ready to play for Game 6 as "working around the clock," and added that Porzingis "desperately wants to play.''
"He doesn't want to close the door on playing tomorrow, and we haven't officially. But I'm not optimistic. If he can't, it'll be because he's unable to. He's a tough guy.''
TNT's Game 5 broadcast mentioned something about KP banging his knee in Game 1 of the series, and then in Game 2 he put in a great deal of work to overcome the problem and to perform well enough in a Dallas win before being ejected.
In Game 3, the 7-foot-3 star scored 34 points and added 13 rebounds in 38 minutes against the Clippers. He is averaging 23.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in the series, and over the course of the eight seeding games in Orlando, he was one of 10 players named (along with Doncic) to the "All-Bubble Team.''
Porzingis has battled through right knee soreness throughout this season, missing 10 games in December/January.
While playing for the New York Knicks, Porzingis tore his ACL in his left knee in February 2018 and required a lengthy rehab to return to the floor, work that spanned his time in New York and then his trade to Dallas.
Others on the Dallas roster are also battling injury issues, most notably Luka Doncic. He, Trey Burke and Dorian Finney-Smith are, as Carlisle said, planning on playing.
But it's been established that those walking wounded will attempt to go for Sunday's tip off. With Kristaps Porzingis, what has been established is ... The NBA is playing ... but he is not.