Dallas Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis is key to a postseason run

DALLAS, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 10: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 10: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

If the Dallas Mavericks want to make some noise in the postseason, they’re going to need Kristaps Porzingis at the top of his game. Luckily for them, he already is…

Roughly 13 months ago the Dallas Mavericks pulled off their biggest trade of the new era. They added a proven All-Star to pair with their franchise cornerstone and fast-tracked the Mavs on their rebuilding timeline.

The All-Star we speak of is of course Kristaps Porzingis. And while his pedigree and track record were well regarded, his ability to comeback from injury and work alongside Luka Doncic was partially in question.

Well, it’s safe to say any lingering questions have now been answered. Kristaps Porzing is back, and it couldn’t be happening at a better time. With just 20-games left in the NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks are starting to fire on all cylinders. Sure, they shot poorly last night in the razor thin loss to the Chicago Bulls, but as whole, the right players are playing the right way. And the most important player not named Luka, is Kristaps Porzingis.

Named the Western Conference Player of the Week, the Unicorn appears to be hitting his stride. On Sunday’s win, KP put up 38-points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, and four rebounds. He’s the only player in NBA history to score 38 points, collect 10+ rebounds, block five and hit five from deep.

Last month he averaged over 25-points and 10 rebounds all while shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. And he’s not just thriving when Luka’s out. KP has improved across the board alongside Luka.

Confidence has played a big role. KP started stepping up his production during the seven game stretch Luka was out from injury. But it’s carried over from then and hasn’t wavered since, indicating the Unicorn is indeed back to his former self.

Rick Carlisle and a little bad/good luck also plays a role in Prozingis’ resurgence. Playing center has clearly impacted him positively. That never would have happened had Dwight Powell remained healthy. As you probably recall, Powell ruptured his Achilles back in late-January.  GM Donnie Nelso resisted the urge to trade for a top-end center to replace him, and Carlisle rolled with who he had.

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Porzingis’ offensive game looks different as well. He’s spotting up and shooting quicker than before. There’s less hesitancy to his game and that’s keeping him in rhythm. It’s not about calling more post-ups, shooting more 3’s, or driving to the basket more. It’s about his confidence to score from anywhere and taking the opportunities when they come.

Prozingis’ revival means the Dallas Mavericks aren’t your typical mid-seeded team entering the playoffs. They are the NBA’s top-ranked offense that just seems to keep getting better. With two generational players playing at the tops of their games, and a handful of role players outperforming their own expectations, the Dallas Mavericks are a team no one wants to face this postseason.

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KP has always been a good player for the Mavs but it’s taken until now to see him reach his massive potential. The Mavs postseason success hinges on the added boost of Kristaps and with it this team is primed to make a run down the stretch.

  • Published on 03/03/2020 at 13:30 PM
  • Last updated at 03/03/2020 at 13:48 PM