The Dallas Mavericks exited the 2019-2020 NBA Playoffs with grace. They can hold their head high because they know they pushed the Clippers to the limit.
At the start of the season, they only wanted to get in the Playoffs. They did, and they fought in it with so much gusto. Are they happy with that? Most likely not because they know they can do so much more with what they have. With Luka leading the pack, he will need a strong and healthy second guy.
Unfortunately, there is still no consensus if it is Kristaps Porzingis.
There is no denying that Luka Doncic sent shockwaves around the basketball world in his electric Playoffs debut. The Los Angeles Clippers threw everything they had at him but still failed to contain the Slovenian superstar. In the end, Luka Doncic averaged 31 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists.
No, the Playoffs didn’t stifle him. Neither did the Clippers intimidate him. Doncic looked like a veteran for all that was said and done. He even played through a sore ankle after rolling it bad during Game 3. He refused to be sidelined and bounced back with three consecutive stellar performances.
The Dallas Mavericks will largely maintain its roster next year, but they will need to come back healthier and stronger. This is especially true for Kristaps Porzingis and his knees.
Porzingis saw huge improvements in many facets of his game. However, there is no denying that the Latvian big-man has some durability issues. He had to miss ten games during the regular season because of a sore right knee. Fortunately, he bounced back well after that minor set back.
Now, he is dealing with what could be another surgery on his right knee. The MCL tear on his non-operated knee is concerning. It’s clear that Porzingis is needed for the Mavs to move forward, but with his health always getting in the way, and the Mavericks will have to pivot one way or another.
Several scouts still have doubts in their head whether Porzingis is the team’s second option moving forward. A West executive said,
“I think it’s a bit early to make that judgment. We need to see what happens in the next year with him, but my gut tells me he’s going to be a legit No. 2 guy. But it’s hard to be that guy when you’re sitting on the bench.”
Image from Bleacher Report/ YouTube thumbnail
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