DALLAS - Latvian big-man Kristaps Porzingis has yet to play an NBA game since 2018 after missing an entire season’s worth of basketball. Now that he’s back in playing form, the Dallas Mavericks are eager to get him on the floor, clutchpoints.com reports.
However, head coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t think that Porzingis will see a lot of back-to-back games with the Mavericks to ease his body into playing high-level basketball.
Carlisle talked with Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News and said that he will only play one of their back-to-back preseason games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Detroit Pistons.
“We go minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day,” Carlisle said. “I’m not going to get into a prediction of the future for next week, but I like where he is right now, and you know, I don’t see him playing back-to-backs.”
He was out for nearly two years and will definitely be rusty when it comes to his game sense. The Mavericks knew this when they made the trade, but they’re hopeful that his nightly averages in 2017-18 would eventually come back.
There’s plenty of reasons why the Mavericks are excited with the Unicorn - the nickname of the Latvian star. He averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.4 blocks with during the 2017-2018 season for the New York Knicks.
Moreover, it will be fascinating to watch him play with Luka Doncic, the sports website reports. Porzingis himself thinks that NBA defenses will have a hard time guarding the two of them as they can both play inside as well as fade for the three-point shot.
It’s going to be a cautiously optimistic time for the Mavericks, but Porzingis is eager to prove his worth to his new home, clutchpoints.com writes.