Mavs' Kristaps Porzingis Won't Play vs. Pelicans After Suffering Knee Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 4, 2021

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) while playing the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John McCoy)
AP Photo/John McCoy

Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis suffered a left knee contusion in Wednesday's 139-107 win over the Pelicans and will be unavailable for Friday's rematch against New Orleans, head coach Jason Kidd told reporters.

The 26-year-old missed five games earlier this year because of a back issue. He then suffered an ankle injury in Dallas' 114-96 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 29.

Injuries aside, Porzingis is enjoying another productive season in Dallas. Through 15 games, he's averaging 19.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor.

The Mavs, meanwhile, are fourth in the Western Conference at 11-9 under Kidd, who is in his first year as head coach.

The narrative of this year will hinge largely on what the team does in the playoffs.

Losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2021 playoffs was a bitter pill to swallow, and Porzingis' performance in that series (13.1 PPG; 5.4 RPG) raised questions about his suitability as a second star alongside Luka Doncic.

Because of that, a lot of fans will likely reserve judgment on the Latvian until the postseason. That isn't to downplay his contributions in the regular season, though, which will be important toward the Mavericks securing a top-four seed.