Only three games into the 2021-22 campaign, the Mavericks are already dealing with an injury to one of their most important players.
Dallas big man Kristaps Porzingis is dealing with a back issue, and though it may not turn out to be a long-term problem, it is yet another injury to add to the list. He has played in 103 of a possible 150 games over the last two-plus regular seasons because of a variety of health concerns.
What is the status of Porzingis ahead of Dallas’ next game? Here are the latest updates on the 26-year-old.
Will Kristaps Porzingis play tonight?
Porzingis is listed as out on the Mavericks’ official injury report with what the team is calling “low back tightness.” He left Dallas’ 116-106 victory over Houston on Tuesday night after playing just 20 minutes. He finished with nine points and three rebounds.
Before Porzingis was ruled out, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told reporters that the team will be taking Porzingis’ injury “one day at a time.”
“This will be our first back-to-back, so hopefully [Thursday] in the afternoon we’ll have a plan of what we’re going to do,” Kidd said on Wednesday (via The Dallas Morning News). “But first, we just want to see how he feels and hopefully he can go.”
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Kristaps Porzingis’ early struggles under Jason Kidd
Before he suffered the back injury, Porzingis had been struggling to recapture his scoring touch from last season. Through three games, he is averaging 12.7 points on 30.2/23.5/72.7 shooting splits (field goals/3-pointers/free throws). In 2020-21, Porzingis scored 20.1 points per game while shooting 47.6/37.6/85.5.
At Dallas’ media day, Kidd noted that Luka Doncic had to lean on his teammates more often, especially Porzingis. Kidd wanted Porzingis to be more than just a spot-up shooter and declared that he would not be “limited to shooting 3s or crashing from the corner.”
Unfortunately for the Mavericks, Porzingis has been inefficient in multiple areas. Among players who have logged at least two post-ups per game, Porzingis is tied for last in points per possession (0.50), per NBA.com stats. He is also shooting under 40 percent on his midrange attempts.
It’s still very early in the season, of course, but Dallas will need Porzingis to be much more productive offensively if it wants to be taken seriously as a contender in the Western Conference.
Spurs vs. Mavericks injury report
(Current as of 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday)
|Mavericks||Sterling Brown||Out||Left ankle; sprain|
|Mavericks||Trey Burke||Out||Health and safety protocols|
|Mavericks||Boban Marjanovic||Questionable||Low back; tightness|
|Mavericks||Kristaps Porzingis||Out||Low back; tightness|
|Spurs||Devontae Cacok||Out||G League — two-way|
|Spurs||Zach Collins||Out||Left ankle; stress fracture|
|Spurs||Doug McDermott||Out||Right knee; inflammation|
|Spurs||Joshua Primo||Out||G League — on assignment|
|Spurs||Joe Wieskamp||Out||G League — two-way|