Update: Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis is set to make his season debut tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Porzingis missed the first nine games of the season due to offseason knee surgery.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 11, 2021
Dallas could use some good news.
The Mavericks, hit hard by the coronavirus and contact tracing in recent days, could get it in the form of the return of Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis has been out the first nine games of the NBA season recovering from offseason knee surgery, but he has been moved from “out” to “questionable” on the Mavericks’ injury report for Monday’s game against the Pelicans. Shorthanded Dallas, and its young star Luka Doncic, would welcome Porzingis’ return, but if it’s not Monday it will be soon.
Porzingis averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds a game for Dallas last season, plus provides a defensive presence in the paint at 7’3″ and with a ridiculous reach. Last season, Dallas was +5 points per 100 possessions when Porzingis and Doncic shared the floor, and thanks to Doncic and Porzingis had the best offensive rating in NBA history.
Porzingis had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee last October, and the recovery stretched into the season. Doctors had waiting to do the surgery because they were not sure it would be necessary at first.
Porzingis injured his right knee in his first career playoff game, in the bubble against the Clippers, and played through it for a couple of games before the Dallas doctors sat him out the rest of the season (a six-game loss to the Clippers.
The Mavericks are 5-4 to start the season and their offense has been middle-of-the-pack so far. Porzingis could provide some of the spark the Mavs have been missing to start the season.