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Mavs’ Rick Carlisle plays down concerns over Kristaps Porzingis’ continued absence

Kristaps Porzingis, Rick Carlisle

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis has been out much longer than initially expected due to bum knee. The 7’3 Latvian big has missed the team’s last nine consecutive games, which has caused some panic among the MFFL nation.

Prior to Dallas’ hosting of the Portland Trail Blazers at the American Airlines Center on Friday, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle addressed the growing concerns surrounding Porzingis’ status. Per Callie Caplan of Dallas News:

“He’s working diligently on it with rehabbing and working out and so on, and we’ll hope this thing resolves, but we know nothing for sure. All I know is he’s out tonight and he had a good day today,” he shared.

After struggling early on since KP went down to injury, the Mavs have now adjusted without their main man in the middle and racked up three consecutive wins against the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, and Sacramento Kings. Porzingis was shooting around with the team on Friday but was a late scratch against Portland.

Carlisle made it clear that they will not rush Porzingis’ return and allow him to ease back on his own terms.

“I don’t know that it’s there yet. When you have a foundation piece and the guy’s missed nine games, the level of concern is certainly there, but to get into analyzing the exact levels … we’re encouraged that he had a good day today.”

In 31 games played so far in his first season in Texas, Porzingis is averaging 17.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in 31.2 minutes per game. After being the go-to guy with his former team New York Knicks, The Unicorn has eased in his role as second in command to Dallas’ phenomenal second-year player Luka Doncic.

The Mavericks are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference with a 26-15 win-loss slate.