Porzingis on Mavs: 'We've Got Extra Juice - We're A Dangerous Team'
DALLAS - Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis seems to believe his club is as ready as possible for the resumption of the NBA season, which for the Mavs will begin on July 31 in Orlando.
"I can feel we all got a little more extra juice now when we're working out, because we know what's coming,'' KP said on Friday following Dallas' third "training camp 2.0 workout'' at team headquarters. “We are a dangerous team. And I think we can surprise people.''
"Surprises'' are relative, of course. Dallas at 40-27 and with the seventh seed in the West - and with the teaming of Porzingis with Luka Doncic working so beautifully - means the Mavs are not likely to sneak up on teams once they get inside the Orlando bubble for their eight "seeding games'' and then the NBA Playoffs. Porzingis did, however, playfully suggest that during this COVID-19 hiatus time, while he was back home in Latvia he worked on a new facet to his game.
"Yes, but I can't talk about it,'' the 7-3 do-it-all center said with a grin. "It's a secret. I'll have to show you on the court."
The 24-year-old with the surgically-repaired knee (that is "back to normal,'' he said) was doing plenty of that before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 11. Over a string of 14 games, he was averaging 24.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Those averages are much higher than Porzingis' season averages of 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game - but even those numbers register as successes for a contending team's "second banana.''
And, KP, reminds, there is every reason his chemistry with Luka will continue to grow.
"I don't think we're going to be taking any steps back,'' he said. "From here on it's only going to be forward."
In addition to new tricks, KP spent his hiatus time watching TV, among other things. He rewatched a favorite movie ("Wall Street'') and binged on "Tiger King.''
“It was the most insane thing I’ve ever seen,'' Porzingis said.
He did add that the NBA bubble might be a bit crazy itself. "Weird'' is the word he used in reference to the absence of fans for the upcoming games in Orlando.
“I think the feel will be more like a high-intensity pickup game,'' Porzingis said.
But as Doncic said Friday about his own approach, KP never hesitated in wishing to take part in order to help the Mavs try to succeed.
“I’m a guy without kids and family and those kinds of things, so maybe I’m more fearless in that kind of sense ... I think everybody is just trying to look out for their own families and their own safety.
"I’m looking forward to our first playoff experience,'' Porzingis said, adding, "“My goal is to have a postseason every year from now on.”