With Luka Doncic finally back on the court (and with a sneaker deal), Dallas needs to be evaluated based off how they did without him. The Mavericks are no joke. Luka Doncic is the real deal, Porzingis is looking like his old self, and Seth Curry is playing like big brother Steph. The league has officially been put on notice.
Young prodigy Luka Doncic went down with an ankle injury against the Heat, this started a multi-week recovery process. Dallas refused to slow down. They would go on to win their next two games on the road. This was during a four game stretch against top teams from each conference. First, they snapped the Bucks’ 18 game winning streak. Porzingis and Curry had a pair of 26 point, four assist outings. Kristaps Porzingis pulled down twelve rebounds while doing so. He was not the best power forward on the floor that night, that honor belonged to reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, Porzingis did what he needed to do in order to get the win. Seth Curry as well. The Mavericks as a team stepped up and toppled the hottest team in the league.
Alternating losses would come in Dallas to the Celtics and Raptors. These close losses, by 9 combined points, are not ones to hang a head on. NBA champion Kyle Lowry went off in the fourth quarter to complete a 30 point comeback and win by 3. Blowing a huge lead is not a good look, but having that on one of the best teams in the league, without your workhorse, is.
This could’ve been the kind of “luck” Kristaps Porzingis needed in order to step into his old ways. Coming off an ACL tear, his play hasn’t been what it used to be. He’s done what has been needed of him in order to win games. Doncic makes winning easy for his team. With Doncic gone, Porzingis had to step up big time. His career high in rebounds  came in a convincing victory in Philadelphia, against the most notoriously talented team in the NBA.
Porzingis isn’t quite the monster he used to be, yet. He got a lot closer to it, and looked like that player we saw dominate Madison Square Garden. This stretch speaks volumes to how deep and talented this Mavericks team is. Mark Cuban continues to brew something special. The rest of the association should be very afraid.