Here’s What to Expect From Kristaps Porzingis After a Torn ACL

We finally know. Kristaps Porzingis’ return to basketball will be on October 8, 2019, this time as a Dallas Maverick.

With that question answered, there are several more that come up.

What will Kristaps be like when he comes back? Can he be an All-Star again? Is he injury-prone? Is an ACL tear too much for a 7’3 player to overcome? After all, it’s never been done.

History can give us some sign of what to expect. I looked at data from 69 NBA players who tore their ACL to predict what Mavericks fans can expect from Porzingis in the 2019-2020 season.

In this Article
  1. Kristaps Porzingis’ Return to Basketball – What to Expect
    1. Stats Before and After Torn ACL – Tallest Players
    2. Stats Before and After Torn ACL – All Players
    3. Stats Before and After Torn ACL – Players Aged 22 or Younger
    4. Stats Before and After Torn ACL – Players Aged 25 or Younger
    5. New Predictions for Kristaps Porzingis in 2019-2020
  2. Rehabbing with the Mavericks

Kristaps Porzingis’ Return to Basketball – What to Expect

Since 1970, 108 NBA players have suffered a torn ACL either before or after their NBA debut. That includes Kristaps Porzingis and Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL in the 2019 Playoffs.

For the purposes of my research, I narrowed the list down to 69 players. I took out players who tore their ACL before making their NBA debut and those who never played again after their injury due to age or the fact that they weren’t rotational player to begin with.

I compared every player’s stats from before his injury to the season he returned from injury. I looked at per game averages for minutes, points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and field goal percentage.

If the player only appeared in a few games before his injury, I used his numbers from the previous season.

Among those 69 players, Porzingis is one of the youngest. Only 16 of the 69 players were 22 or younger when they tore their ACL. (Kristaps was 22 at the time of his injury.)

Porzingis is also the tallest player, at 7’3. The next tallest players were Robert Swift and Jerome James, who were 7’1.

How did those giants fare?

Stats Before and After Torn ACL – Tallest Players

Robert Swift averaged 6.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game before his injury. In his return season, he averaged 1.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and .8 blocks per game.

Jerome James averaged 1.5 points, 1.1 rebounds, and .4 blocks per game before his injury. After his injury, those numbers increased to 5.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game after his injury.

However, Jerome’s minutes went from 2.6 per game to 16.9 per game. (He also sat out an entire season and played a season overseas before returning to the NBA.)

The point is, these players are not like Porzingis at all, aside from their height. Neither players were at Porzingis’ level of usage and impact.

To get a broad picture, let’s look at the averages from all 69 players.

Stats Before and After Torn ACL – All Players

Here’s the breakdown:

Before and After Torn ACL – All Players

Minutes per game: -18%
Points per game: -25.6%
Rebounds per game: -19%
Assists per game: -15.4%
Blocks per game: -25%
Field goal percentage: -7.1%

Long story short, there were declines in every category. I don’t think that will surprise anyone. After all, an ACL tear is a serious injury.

What happens when we apply these results to Kristaps Porzingis?

Before his ACL injury, Kristaps was averaging 32.4 minutes, 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.4 blocks per game. He shot 43.9% from the floor.

If we use our results to predict his output for the 2019-2020 season, here’s what his stat line might look like:

Kristaps Porzingis Stat Predictions:
26.5 minutes per game
16.9 points per game
5.3 rebounds per game
1 assist per game
1.8 blocks per game
40.8% shooting

How would you feel if Porzingis averaged 17 points and 5 rebounds a game? Honestly, the shooting percentage is what has me concerned.

But remember, Kristaps is one of the youngest players to tear his ACL. Only 16 of the 69 players were 22 or younger. Our data includes players who were as old as 33.

There’s a big difference between 22 and 33, especially when healing from a major injury.

Stats Before and After Torn ACL – Players Aged 22 or Younger

nba players 22 or younger stats before and after torn acl

Here’s the breakdown:

Before and After Torn ACL – Players Aged 22 or Younger

Minutes per game: -5.4%
Points per game: -0%
Rebounds per game: -5.1%
Assists per game: -9.1%
Blocks per game: -0%
Field goal percentage: -.9%

That paints a very different picture.

I can get excited about a season where Porzingis still averages over 21 points and 2 blocks per game. That’s his projection based on these results.

But let’s make the sample size a little larger. After all, 16 players isn’t that many. Let’s look at the 36 players who were 25 or younger when they tore their ACL. That’s about half of the 69 players I looked at.

Stats Before and After Torn ACL – Players Aged 25 or Younger

nba players 25 or younger stats before and after torn acl

Here’s the breakdown:

Before and After Torn ACL – Players Aged 25 or Younger

Minutes per game: -12%
Points per game: -19.6%
Rebounds per game: -13%
Assists per game: -14.3%
Blocks per game: -20%
Field goal percentage: -5.1%

This is a more realistic projection for Kristaps’ production this season.

Here’s what we could see from him in the 2019-2020 season:

Kristaps Porzingis Stat Predictions:
28.5 minutes per game
18.3 points per game
5.7 rebounds per game
1 assist per game
1.9 blocks per game
41.6% shooting

If I had to guess, this would be the segment I would base my hypothesis on.

But there’s a lot more to consider.

There are so many variables that make Kristaps unique in this situation.

  • Only 16 players were Kristaps’ age or younger when they suffered their injury
  • Only 2 of them were over 7 feet
  • Only 7 players averaged 20 points per game or more before their injury

(And one of those tore his ACL again the following season while another one, Derrick Rose, played less than 30 games, making that projection nearly obsolete.)

Not only that, but Kristaps will be in a new system with different players and better talent around him. Those factors in themselves can drastically impact production.

At this point, you might be wondering if there’s a chance Kristaps reinjures his ACL. After all, I just mentioned Michael Redd and Derrick Rose – not a good sign.

Of the 106 players who have torn their ACL since 1970 – excluding Kristaps and Klay Thompson – only 9 of them had the injury twice.

That’s less than 10%.

NEW Predictions for Kristaps Porzingis in 2019-2020

Let’s use this data to predict what Porzingis will do in the 2019-2020 NBA season.

First, here are Kristaps’ per-game averages for the Preseason:

22.9 minutes per game
16 points per game
9.5 rebounds per game
.5 blocks per game
39.3 FG%
28.6 3PT%

The shooting percentages are the most troubling. But if you look at the projections above, that’s what took a big hit.

On the positive side, 9.5 rebounds would be a career-high by far. His current career high is 7.3 rebounds per game.

Here are my predictions for Kristaps Porzingis in the 2020 NBA season:

32 minutes per game
19 points per game
9 rebounds per game
1.5 blocks per game
42 FG%
35 3PT%

In Luka Doncic’s first season, Rick Carlisle kept him at 32 minutes per game. There was concern over Luka’s conditioning. They might take a similar approach with Kristaps, either because of conditioning or to be cautious.

I think Kristaps will get the opportunity to average more than 19 points a game. (I’m projecting he’ll get around 15 shots a game.) But I think his shooting percentages will hurt his scoring ability.

Nine rebounds per game would be a career-high for Kristaps, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He had some outstanding rebounding performances in the Preseason.

It’s possible he could break out of his shooting woes early in the season and never look back. But I’m relying on the historical data for this projection. The data says he will struggle with his shooting. His Preseason numbers reflect that reality.

I wish I had enough confidence to say he’ll shoot better than 42% overall and make more than 35% of his 3-pointers. What are the odds he’ll buck the trend on that? I’m taking the under.

In reality, this is Kristaps’ comeback season and will probably not reflect his long-term production. If you look at other stars who tore their ACL, the first season back was generally difficult. The same may be true for Porzingis.

Rehabbing with the Mavericks

Porzingis took a very deliberate approach to rehab. He stressed the need for patience and balance. He decided to take yoga and focus on how he moves.

Doctors say most athletes can return within 10 months of their ACL injury. Porzingis opted to miss an entire season, putting his rehab time at 20 months.

“The scar’s gonna be there but it’s more important that the scar’s not up in here so when you get back out on the court, you don’t even think about your knee.”

Kristaps Porzingis to The Players’ Tribune

If Kristaps’ Instagram feed is any sign, he’s been putting in long hours of strength training. Kristaps reportedly gained over 15 pounds of muscle this summer.

That’s a two-edged sword though. That much weight creates a lot more force with every move he makes.

If height is a concern to Porzingis or Mavericks fans, professionals say it shouldn’t be.

“Porzingis’ height should not play a role in the speed of recovery and rate of success. What matters is the quality of the rehabilitation and his genetic disposition to heal.”
– Dr. Armin Tehrany to The New York Post

What might play a role is his playing style.

Jeff Stotts said Kristaps should find a “happy medium” between explosiveness and strength.

Kristaps earned the nickname “The Unicorn” because of his unique style. He attacks the rim and uses his mobility to dominate the perimeter, rare for a 7-footer. But using his strength to stay in the post and score over stout defense might be a safer play.

Beyond his playing style, it’s clear he needs to get his body right. The Mavericks’ training staff worked to strengthen his core and change the way he moves.

This might be a big adjustment for Porzingis. He’s changing habits and tendencies he’s had for possibly his entire life. The way he runs will be different. The way he jumps will be different.

Or at least it should be.

The bottom line is, there’s a lot going on here. Strength, biomechanics, style, diet – it’s not as simple as putting on some extra muscle, which he’s done.

And as our above projections showed, Mavs fans might not see a Unicorn sighting this season. But there have been plenty of stars who tore their ACL and came back better than ever.

Until Kristaps’ return to basketball is complete, there will be some unanswered questions. The good news is, that return is just around the corner.

Top 10 Greatest Moments of the Dallas Mavericks 2011 Championship

June 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Championship. In my completely unbiased opinion – ok, maybe I’m a little biased – it’s one of the greatest Playoff runs in NBA history. The Mavericks faced tough opponents, made several historic comebacks, overcame their own Playoff demons, and solidified an all-time great’s legacy. All in two months.

Yeah, it was pretty amazing.

There were so many great moments from that run and so many great stories. I compiled ten of the greatest moments, but there are more. Celebrate each moment with me as I walk down memory lane.

10. Shawn Marion Blocks Kevin Durant’s Potential Game-Winning Shot in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals

The Oklahoma City Thunder had the best young core in the league in 2011 (not to mention three future MVPs) with Kevin DurantRussell Westbrook, and James Harden. Many analysts picked the Thunder to beat the Mavs.

After falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Thunder had a chance to tie the series in a crucial Game 4. Actually, they had more than a chance. They had a shot.

With 5.9 seconds left in a tie game, Kevin Durant broke free for a potential game-winning three-pointer. But Shawn Marion’s legendary defense was up to the task. He blocked Durant’s shot attempt, sending the game into Overtime, where the Mavs got the victory.

9. Game 6 Series-Clinching Win vs. Portland Trail Blazers in Western Conference First Round

I know, a first-round series win doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re talking about winning a Championship. However, the Mavericks’ first-round matchup versus the Portland Trail Blazers was one of the toughest of their Playoff run.

The Blazers were tough, physical, and deep. After a crushing defeat in Game 4 that allowed the Blazers to tie the series – and Brandon Roy to have a heck of a farewell tour – it seemed like the Mavs’ Playoff demons just wouldn’t leave them alone.

So, yeah, winning this series was huge. They got out of the first round for just the second time in five attempts, they overcame a crushing blow, and defeated a tough and gritty opponent. It was just the beginning, but at the time it felt like the biggest victory in decades.

8. 16-point Comeback vs. Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals

If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. The Lakers were considered one of the best. They seemed destined to three-peat. With a squad of Kobe BryantPau GasolAndrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom, the Mavericks didn’t seem to have the talent to compete.

After building a 16-point lead in Game 1 of the series, it looked like history was on the Lakers’ side. But then the Mavericks’ hero showed up.

Yup, Dir- or, I mean, Corey Brewer, sparked a comeback that led to a victory for the Mavs. He guarded Kobe Bryant, grabbed a couple of loose balls, and hit crucial shots during the Mavericks’ comeback.

If Mavs fans thought this would be the most exciting moment of the series, boy were we in for a surprise.

7. Dirk Nowitzki Sets the Record for Consecutive Free Throws Made in a Playoff Game in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals

In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Dirk Nowitzki set a tone. He had one of the most efficient scoring games you’ll ever see.

Most notably, he made 24 consecutive free throws, setting the record. But he also made 12 of his 15 field goals. That means out of the 39 shots he took in the game, he missed only 3 of them.

The Thunder’s best defense was the towel boys trying to ice Dirk while he was at the free throw line.

(It didn’t work.)

6. 15-Point Fourth Quarter Comeback in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals

The Mavericks’ Championship run was full of amazing comebacks. One of the most impressive was their 15-point comeback with only five minutes left in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. In fact, the window for their comeback was so tight that the Mavs never actually took the lead until the overtime period.

With Dallas leading the series 2-1, Game 4 was crucial for OKC. Kevin Durant hit a 3-point dagger to put the Thunder up by 15 points with 5:06 left in the game. In those final 5 minutes and Overtime, Dirk scored 14 points, finishing with 40 for the game.

The Mavericks won the game and ended the series a few days later.

5. Western Conference Semifinals Sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers (Mother’s Day Massacre)

I’ll be honest, I expected the Lakers to win this series. They had just won back-to-back Championships and they had one of the greatest players ever and one of the greatest coaches ever. Plus, well, they were the Lakers!

Even after going down 0-3, there wasn’t a resounding feeling of doubt from the Lakers or their fans. Kobe Bryant said he still thought they would win the series. Heck, even I thought that if any team could come back from down 0-3, it would be the Lakers.

I don’t think I fully understood that Mavericks team until Game 4.

In the final game of the series, the Mavericks hit a record-tying 20 three-pointers and put the league on notice with a 122-86 win that completed a sweep of the back-to-back defending Champions. As Kobe put it, “They just made three after three after three.” It was an offensive clinic and an exhilarating moment for every Mavs fan.

4. Dirk Nowitzki Plays With Flu-Like Symptoms in Game 4 of the Finals

After a historic comeback in Game 2 of the Finals (we’ll get to that in a minute), the Mavericks lost a crucial Game 3. With a 2-1 series lead, the Miami Heat seemed to be inevitable. It started to look like their Big Three of LeBron JamesDwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh was just too much for the Mavs.

To make matters worse, it was discovered that Dirk was playing Game 4 with a fever up to 102 degrees. But greatness can’t be stopped.

Dirk mustered all of the energy and strength he could and put the Mavericks on his back once again. He scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. With 15 seconds left in the game and 1 point separating the two teams, Dirk made a driving layup to give the Mavericks the lead. Game 4 was in the books, and the Mavericks were now on their way to history.

3. Fourth Quarter Comeback In NBA Finals Game 2

In series after series, the Mavericks showed incredible grit and toughness. But against the Miami Heat, the team seemed to be intimidated. After losing Game 1 of the Finals, Game 2 was crucial. But it wasn’t going well.

With 7:14 left in the game, Dwyane Wade hit a crushing 3-pointer that put the Heat up by 15 points.

But the game wasn’t over.

The Mavericks dug deep as a team. They fought with all of their collective strength and went on a 22-5 run. Dirk sealed the historical moment with a game-winning layup over Chris Bosh.

2. Dirk Nowitzki Wins Finals MVP

Dallas fans knew Dirk’s greatness for years before this Championship, but the world had come to doubt him. He was derided, pushed aside and put below lesser talent in the minds of pundits, fans, and even history itself. There was only one thing he could do to cement his legacy where it belonged.


Dirk had an all-time great Playoff run in 2011. Winning an NBA title and being the clear Finals MVP finally made everyone see how great he really was. This Finals MVP was never in doubt. There was no speculation, no surprise winner, no secondary star or defender that could steal the shine. It was Dirk. He earned every bit of that trophy.

1. NBA Finals Game 6 (The Part Where They Won a Championship)

The series could have gone seven games, but there was a vibe heading into Game 6. After a back-and-forth start to the series, the Mavericks exerted their supremacy in games four and five. When they entered the arena for Game 6, black suits and all, there was a silent confidence exuding from every dribble, every pass, and every shot.

There are so many great micro-moments from this game – Jason Terry’s epic performance, Dirk leaving the arena to spill his emotions in private, Holger Geschwindner on the verge of tears as his prized pupil finally achieved his greatest career goal, original owner Don Carter lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy, and so many more.

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks were finally Champions. Forever.

Want to relive more awesome moments from Mavericks history? Check out my list of the top 40 greatest moments in franchise history.

The Mavericks Are Facing a Crucial Moment in Team History

“Keep the powder dry.”

Those words are burned into the minds of every Mavericks fan. It’s become a mantra recited both with fiery belief and crass sarcasm. It’s the “Think Different” slogan of the basketball world. It can be used to justify every head-tilting decision or to dismiss even the most polished sales pitch.

Whatever side of the debate you’re on, one thing is buried in that powder that we all recognize: a purpose. Maintain cap space to sign hallmark free agents.

It’s why the Mavericks have passed on promising talent in the draft. It’s why they’ve opted for homegrown talent rather than pricier retail-priced players. It’s why they’ve traded players merely to dump salary.

Cap space.

Their modus operandi has been to clear cap space.

Well, all of that changes this summer.

Luka Doncic – NBA All-Star, fringe MVP candidate, franchise leader, and All-NBA talent – will sign his Designated Rookie Scale Player Extension, guaranteeing him five years of salary equal to 25-30% of the team’s cap plus 8% increases every year of the contract.

(It’s a max contract.)

The Mavericks will then have two players with max contracts. From that point on, it will be virtually impossible to fill out a roster while maintaining significant cap space each summer.

For the sake of my sanity, let’s just say it will be entirely impossible.

Yossi Gozlan, HoopsHype

“The Mavericks will be very expensive soon. They’re going to use cap space this offseason or re-sign all their players since this will be their last opportunity to spend before Luka inevitably signs a max extension. Once he’s making $30M+, combined with Porzingis making as much and whoever they spend on this offseason, they’ll likely be in the luxury tax. Hopefully the team is a championship contender during those years.”

In short, this is the last summer the Mavericks will be able to ignore free agents or refuse assets.

Operation Dry Powder, at least the cap space articles, is over.

But don’t take that as a reason to let out a deep breath of relief. No, this summer is momentous not solely because it brings an end to chasing cap space, but because the Mavericks’ entire purpose over the past decade now has to change – the chance to sign star free agents will be gone.

The Mavericks have been trying to put a Championship team around Luka Doncic. They will continue to do that, but after this summer, they’ll have to do it without cash in their hand they can wave at every player destined for a spot in the Hall of Fame.

They’ll have to do it through trades, the draft, or creative use of the salary cap rules. But therein lies the rub – in order to make trades, you need to have assets. In order to have assets, you have to, well, get them. Sign them. Acquire them. Whatever you want to call it, the Mavericks will need to aggressively pursue free agents this summer.

But not the kind they like pursuing.

They probably won’t get the star they’ve been going after for the past 10 years. Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Deron Williams, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo – those guys are all dust in the wind. No, they’ll have to sign role-players and veterans – quality players. The guys they historically pass on because they aren’t worth their precious cap space. The guys they don’t even call on the phone because ‘we’ve got Giannis in the bag’. The guys they offer a 1-year deal to because ‘we want you, but we don’t, like, WANT you want you’.

They’ll have to target a Dennis Schroder, a Norman Powell, a DeMar DeRozan, a Derrick Rose, a Jarrett Allen. They can’t hoard their cap space and sign cheap guys like a Wayne Ellington, a Cameron Payne, or a Jeff Teague. Why? Because those cheap guys have no value in the trade market and they don’t win games.

The players the Mavericks sign this summer will be either their poker chips in February or their chess pieces in June.

But don’t get excited yet because it’s still not that easy. The Mavericks have four players entering free agency (five if Josh Richardson opts out) this summer plus a team option on Willie Cauley-Stein. They’ll have either Bird or Early Bird rights on these players. You might be thinking, ‘That’s great! Josh Richardson might be off the books and the Mavericks can sign free agents and then go over the cap to keep the guys they have rights on! Right?’


Bird rights act as a cap hold. As long as the Mavericks keep their rights on those players, their cap space is all but depleted. (Just take a look at the massive cap holds Tim Hardaway Jr. and JJ Redick come with.) In order to have all of their available cap space, they would need to renounce their rights on those players. The same goes for Josh Richardson’s Player Option. It acts as a cap hold until he makes his decision.

PlayerCap Hold
Tim Hardaway Jr.$28,462,500
JJ Redick$16,917,810
Josh Richardson (Player Option)$16,298,928
Willie Cauley-Stein (Team Option)$5,330,00
Nicolo Melli$5,066,667
Boban Marjanovic$4,550,000

If the Mavericks renounce all their cap holds, they’ll have some money to work with, but it still might not be enough for a max contract. Even worse, they probably won’t have enough money to sign new players and re-sign the guys they renounced their rights on.

If the Mavericks don’t renounce their cap holds – which probably means they’re keeping those players – they’ll have no cap space to work with.

As cap expert David Brandon put it, “The rule of thumb is – either keep your free agents or you go get new ones. Tim Hardaway Jr. has a $28 million cap hold. Do you want to keep him? There’s $28 million of cap space you can’t use.”

David Brandon, @BirdRightsNBA

“The guys that they sign this summer are going to be key. Basically they’ve got to set themselves up to compete in Doncic’s prime. And this is the last year that you can really bring in guys in free agency that cost more than the mid-level.”

Next year’s Mavericks could look drastically different or stubbornly the same.

But this is it. This is the choice. These are your players. These are your assets. After this summer, the game of chasing max-contract free agents is over. This is all you have to work with. Choose your game character wisely because you can’t go back and change it.

scar Robertson started a revolution in 1970 when he sued the NBA because of clauses that allowed teams to forcibly keep players for as long as the team wanted, even the player’s entire career. The lawsuit opened the doors for free agency.

LeBron James picked up the revolutionary flag in the summer of 2010, when he left his hometown team in Cleveland and formed a superteam in Miami.

Now? Players play to win and they don’t care where.

Luka Doncic wants to win. He grew up in an era where player movement is common, if not expected. He was 11 years old when LeBron James made his ‘Decision’. It wasn’t major history for Luka. As far as he’s concerned, this is the way it’s always been.

The Mavericks can either hope Luka Doncic is like Dirk Nowitzki, who decided he was going to stay in Dallas no matter what, or they can recognize the new world order and do everything they can to build a contending team around Luka now.

Does it suck? Yeah!

Do I wish players were loyal to teams and were more patient? Absolutely.

But I’m operating off of what the NBA is, not what I wish it was.

The Mavericks have one final summer to either sign free agents that will take them over the top or acquire assets that will give them chips to play with when the trade deadline comes.

But the days of hoarding cap space are over.

It’s time to win.

Sydney Myers
Sydney is commonly the only girl in pick-up games, which is fine because the guys never guard her so she schools them. She can dunk on a 7-foot hoop and won league MVP in NBA 2K. She has been a digital content creator for over 10 years, earned a Silver Creator Award, and is YouTube Certified. Then again, she also tried to fly as a child and broke her arm, so what does she know?

Does Kristaps Porzingis Only Play Well Against Bad Teams? Here’s The Answer and Why It Matters

Kristaps Porzingis has made it clear that he wants a larger role on the Dallas Mavericks. In the past four months, he’s made public statements saying as much. He asked to play longer stretches during games, forcing Rick Carlisle to adjust his rotations. There were grumblings about where his shots come from, the solution to which required a shift in the Mavs’ offensive philosophy. Most recently, he showed clear frustration with how few shots he was getting in the fourth quarter of close games.

Kristaps was given the nickname The Unicorn for a reason – his skillset is rare for a player his size. A 7’3 guy who can shoot from the perimeter, pull up on a dime, and soar for alley-oops is worthy of a dozen surpassing nicknames.

But has Kristaps Porzingis performed at a level that justifies demands and ideological shifts in an offense?

The idea has floated around that Porzingis only plays well in minor games – games against bad teams. Is that true?

Yes, it is.

Kristaps’ scoring average against teams whose record is currently above .500 is 5.5 points lower than his scoring average against sub-.500 teams. His shooting percentage also drops 6.7 percentage points against those winning teams.

Kristaps is a star when playing sub-.500 teams – averaging 23.2 points and 10 rebounds while making over 50 percent of his shots. Against winning teams, however, Kristaps reverts to a good role-player who averages less than 18 points and less than 8 rebounds and makes less than 44 percent of his shots.

His highest-scoring games this season have come against losing teams. Every game where he scored 27 points or more came against sub-.500 teams – the Pelicans, the Pacers (twice), the Timberwolves (twice), and the Spurs.

If you want some context for these numbers, take a look at how they compare to Luka Doncic’s performance in these scenarios:

Kristaps Porzingis vs. Above-.500 Teams and Below-.500 Teams – 2021

Opponent RecordPTSTRBBLKFG%3PT%
At or above .50017.
Below .50023.2101.450.2%37.3%

AS OF 4/10/21

Luka Doncic vs. Above-.500 Teams and Below-.500 Teams – 2021

Opponent RecordPTSTRBASTFG%3PT%
At or above .50027.97.7849.5%37.6%
Below .50027.

AS OF 4/10/21

Luka Doncic plays better against better competition. His shooting percentage increases over 4 percentage points and his 3-point shooting increases from 30 percent to nearly 38 percent. That’s what stars do.

Kristaps is not a perennial MVP candidate like Luka Doncic, but if he wants to be considered a star at Luka’s side, he needs to show up when his team needs him the most.

Speaking of showing up, you could take that demand literally with Kristaps.

He’s played only 33 out of 51 possible games so far this season. That’s not because of anything he’s doing wrong, but it is a factor. How can the Mavericks build their offense around a player that isn’t consistently available?

In some respects, Kristaps has a point. He shouldn’t go the entire fourth quarter without a shot. His teammates should look for him more often. But if he wants to be trusted, he has to earn it, not just force Rick Carlisle’s hand by making a public statement.

Kristaps’ lowest scoring games this season have come in his team’s biggest matchups. In games versus the Jazz, Knicks, Bucks, and Blazers, he scored 15 or fewer points.

Is it possible for a player to transform into someone who flourishes under pressure? We have an example of that happening in Luka Doncic.

In the 2020 season, Luka’s scoring average versus above-.500 teams was over three points lower than versus sub-.500 opponents. His shooting percentage dropped 5.6 percentage points and his 3-point shooting percentage dropped a whopping thirteen percentage points against winning teams.

Remember when those elite teams would bully Luka physically and mentally? They would do everything they could to get under his skin.

And it worked.

Luka Doncic vs. Above-.500 Teams and Below-.500 Teams – 2020

Opponent RecordPTSTRBASTFG%3PT%
At or above .50027.78.7942.6%24.9%
Below .50030.810.28.848.1%37.9%

Luka’s worst performances came against the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, and Sixers. This season, some of Luka’s best games have come against those very same teams.

But we also saw moments of Luka making big-time plays. Eleven straight points against the Houston Rockets. A game-tying buzzer-beater against the Portland Trail Blazers. Averaging a 30-point triple-double for an entire month. Game-tying and game-winning shots versus the Lakers, Timberwolves, and Clippers. 

Kristaps took a step in this direction with his performance in Thursday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter. But do it again. And again. And again. Night in and night out. Every game. Make the bad ones a rarity, not an inevitability based on the opponent’s record.

When Kristaps does that – when he earns that reputation – then he won’t have to beg for shots. His teammates will want to find him. He’ll be a unicorn because of his rare ability, not rare appearance.

How to Watch the Dallas Mavericks on Fox Sports Southwest in 2021

The Great Loss started in early 2020. I’m, of course, referring to when many live streaming TV services began dropping Fox Sports Southwest due to failed contract negotiations. Lately, it’s gotten even worse.

As of the writing of this article, none of the popular streaming services carry regional Fox Sports channels. If you’re a cord-cutter that relies on Hulu, Sling, or YouTube TV for live tv, that’s bad news. What’s worse is that even many major cable TV providers have dropped the channels.

What are Mavs fans supposed to do? Where can you watch live Dallas Mavericks games in 2021?

Well, I did the research and have the answer for you. I went though every local TV provider and every known streaming service to see which ones carry Fox Sports Southwest.

Below you’ll find the name of each provider, the packages that offer regional Fox Sports channels, and the price. These providers allow to watch or stream Fox Sports Southwest live.

Disclaimer: This is all based on my own personal research. There may be other options that I didn’t find. Prices will probably change as time goes on. These prices are accurate as of the publishing of this article. For the most accurate price, contact each provider. Coverage and availability will vary. Each provider is listed in alphabetical order, so no preferential treatment was given. There are no affiliate links in this article.

[UPDATE]: This article was updated on March 4, 2021 to provide new information after AT&T closed AT&T TV Now to new subscribers. Current AT&T TV subscribers still have access to their account and all channels. But if you were going to sign up for AT&T TV Now to watch Fox Sports Southwest, this updated information will help you.

  1. TV Providers that Carry Fox Sports Southwest
    1. AT&T TV
    2. DirectTV
    3. Grande Communications
    4. Spectrum
    5. Suddenlink
  2. Streaming Services that Carry Fox Sports Southwest
    1. AT&T TV NOW

TV Providers that Carry Fox Sports Southwest


AT&T TV Packages that Include Fox Sports Southwest

Shop AT&T TV Packages

  • Choice: $84.99/month
  • Ultimate: $94.99/month

Fine Print: AT&T TV has changed dramatically with the almost shut down of AT&T TV Now. A 2-year contract is no longer required. Month-to-month billing is an option. You also do not need a cable box. You can stream AT&T TV through your Roku, Apple TV, or other streaming device. The Choice package also comes with NBA League Pass Premium for the 2021 NBA season. I can’t confirm whether or not this service will continue next season.

An AT&T representative confirmed that these two packages do include Fox Sports Southwest. However, I would suggest calling just to verify that your zip code is part of the select area.


Shop DirectTV Packages

DirectTV Packages that Include Fox Sports Southwest

  • Premier – $124/month

Fine Print: Price is for 12 months. After 12 months, the price increases to $197. A 2-year contract is required. Additional fees will be added to the price.

Offer ends January 16, 2021

Additional Offer: New customers get a $300 reward card when bundling AT&T Internet and DIRECTV.

More from Dallas Hoops Cast
Should the Mavericks Be Concerned About Kristaps Porzingis’ Injury History?
Was Luka Doncic the Greatest Rookie Ever?
NBA Records Luka Doncic Can Totally Break (Probably)

Grande Communications

Shop Grande Communications TV Packages

Promoted by – Haitna – A Dallas SEO Company

Grande Communications Packages that Include Fox Sports Southwest

  • Preferred

Fine Print: I couldn’t find pricing info for this package. Grande’s coverage is pretty limited and I couldn’t get an address that was in range to get pricing. But this package does carry Fox Sports Southwest.


Shop Spectrum TV Packages

Spectrum Packages that Include Fox Sports Southwest

  • Select – $44.99/month
    • A Redditor said when they called Spectrum, they were told the Select package does not include Fox Sports Southwest. However, I checked the website multiple times and confirmed that this package does include FSSW and FSSW+.
  • Silver – $74.99/month
  • Gold – $94.99/month

Fine Print: Price is for 12 months. I couldn’t find what the price will increase to after 12 months. No contract is required. Additional fees will be added to the price.

Additional Offer with all Spectrum TV Packages: New customers get a $500 contract buyout if you’re stuck in a contract with another provider.

NOTE: Some people were told by Spectrum agents that Fox Sports Southwest is no longer carried by Spectrum TV. I spoke with an agent and was told that the channel is still carried. I would suggest calling to verify before signing up.

FYI: Spectrum offers free internet to new subscribers that have a kindergarten through 12th grade, college student, and/or an educator in the household.

Shop Suddenlink Packages

  • Expanded
    • This one is a little weird. According to their channel lineup list, a package called Expanded exists and it includes Fox Sports Southwest. However, I couldn’t find pricing details and it wasn’t available when ordering new service. I wanted to include it in case you manage to find it.
  • Value TV – $58.00/month
  • Select TV – $99.99/month
  • Premier TV – $124.99/month

Fine Print: Price is for 12 months. I couldn’t find what the price will increase to after 12 months. No contract is required. Additional fees will be added to the price.

Additional Offer with all Suddenlink TV Packages: New customers get a $500 contract buyout if you’re stuck in a contract with another provider.

Streaming Services that Carry Fox Sports Southwest


AT&T TV NOW Packages that Include Fox Sports Southwest

AT&T TV Now is effectively shut down. They no longer accept new customers. Current customers can still access their account and continue to watch TV. Nothing has changed in that regard. But you cannot sign up for new service. See packages for AT&T TV, which has changed to a no-contract, streaming format.

Update: March 4, 2021: The price of AT&T TV Now packages that included Fox Sports Southwest went up $10.

The first half of the Mavericks’ 2021 season schedule includes 16 nationally televised games. That’s over 43% of their games! So, even if you can’t switch to a TV provider or streaming services that carries Fox Sports Southwest, there will still be plenty of opportunities to watch Luka Doncic and the Mavs. But for die-hard MFFLS, the above options give you access to every game.

Finally, if I made a mistake in here, please let me know and I’ll correct it as soon as I can. I want to make sure this page is as helpful as possible to Mavs fans.

Sydney Myers

Sydney is commonly the only girl in pick-up games, which is fine because the guys never guard her so she schools them. She can dunk on a 7-foot hoop and won league MVP in NBA 2K. She has been a digital content creator for over 10 years, earned a Silver Creator Award, and is YouTube Certified. Then again, she also tried to fly as a child and broke her arm, so what does she know?

Everything You Need to Know About the Dallas Mavericks’ 2020-2021 Schedule – Part 2

The NBA released the second part of the Dallas Mavericks 2021 season schedule on Wednesday. After a grueling first part of the season that included a COVID outbreak and game delays due to the worst snow storm Texas has faced in decades, the Mavericks could certainly use a few breaks. Did they get some?

There’s certainly some good news in this part of the schedule. I’ll say that if Luka Doncic wants to make a push for MVP, there are definitely parts of this schedule that could keep him in that conversation.

Here’s an infographic with a breakdown of key stats from the second part of the 2021 season.

A key stretch for the Mavericks comes in May. This will be the last month and the last chance to make a push for the Playoffs or, if they’re already in the Playoffs, to get the best seed possible. In May, six of their ten games will be played at home and eight of their ten opponents currently have a sub-.500 record. The Mavs really need to take advantage of that stretch. Hopefully they can get hot at just the right time.

Here are some other key details from the second half of their schedule:

  • 38 Games
    • Includes 3 make-up games that were postponed
  • Back-to-Backs: 10
    • 4 more than in the first part of their schedule
  • Nationally Televised Games: 14 (that’s 37% of their games!)
  • Home Games: 19
  • Away Games: 19
  • Longest Road Trips: 2 3-game road trips
    • Worst: March 19-24 – 6 days, 3 road games
  • Longest Home Stand: 5 games, 9 days April 16-24
  • Games by Month
    • March: 12
    • April: 16
    • May: 10
  • Home/Away by Month
    • March: 8/4
    • April: 7/9
    • May: 4/6
  • Games by Day of Week
    • Sunday: 6
    • Monday: 5
    • Tuesday: 3
    • Wednesday: 8
    • Thursday: 5
    • Friday: 6
    • Saturday: 5
  • Games by Time of Day
    • No afternoon games! All games start at 6 pm or later.
    • 6 PM: 4
    • 6:30 PM: 4
    • 7 PM: 7
    • 7:30 PM: 7
    • 8 PM: 9
    • 8:30 PM: 3
    • 9 PM: 4
  • Notable Games:
    • 3/10 – Rivalry game at home vs. San Antonio Spurs (National TV – NBATV)
    • 3/15 – Rematch at home vs. Los Angeles Clippers (National TV – ESPN)
    • 4/16 – At home vs. New York Knicks (National TV – ESPN)
    • 4/24 – Sunday night marquee matchup at home vs. Los Angeles Lakers (National TV – ABC)

There are certainly some rough stretches in the schedule, including a six-day road trip and four more back-to-backs than the first half of the schedule had. But they finish up with an easy month, perfect timing for a Playoff push. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even surprise some people.

Does Andre Drummond Actually Solve the Mavericks’ Problems? Does He Even Fit?

Andre Drummond has been the dream trade target for many Dallas Mavericks fans. The Mavericks’ interior defense isn’t keeping opponents up at night, and their pick-and-roll defense probably has most guards circling the matchup on their calendar as part of their All-Star campaign.

It makes sense that a player like Andre Drummond would look appealing. He’s averaging a double-double with a whopping 13.5 rebounds per game. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, a lot.

Can Kristaps Porzingis and Andre Drummond Play Together?

There aren’t many two-big lineups in the NBA anymore, for obvious reasons. In a pick-and-roll-heavy league where 3-point shooting is more deadly than ever, two-big lineups don’t stand a chance.

Look at the teams that start two bigs. With the exception of one, which we’ll get to, none of them are winning and none of them have a good defensive rating.

TeamRecordOffensive Rating (Rank)Defensive Rating (Rank)
Atlanta Hawks11-1614th19th
Chicago Bulls11-1517th21st
Detroit Pistons8-1922nd22nd
New Orleans Pelicans11-157th28th
Orlando Magic10-1828th20th
Los Angeles Lakers21-712th1st

Is there a possibility that these teams are not good for a variety of reasons and that the two-big lineup isn’t the main culprit? Sure. But at what point does correlation become causation?

Some might point to the Lakers, who start Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol, as a model of why a Kristaps-Drummond lineup would work. But the Lakers are the exception, not the rule. Here’s why:

Anthony Davis is an extremely versatile defender that does things that most players his size (read “Kristaps Porzingis”) can’t do. And although Marc Gasol and Anthony Davis start together, Gasol only plays 20 minutes per game. For the majority of their minutes, the Lakers don’t play a two-big lineup.

Kristaps Porzingis simply cannot guard the majority of Power Forwards in the NBA, which is what he would be doing with Andre Drummond starting at Center. There’s no other big for Kristaps to guard or position to hide him on. His lack of mobility, whether due to his injury history or not, is a problem on defense.

Look at the top eight teams from each conference and their starting Power Forward. How many of them do you think Kristaps can guard?

TeamStarting Power Forward
Philadelphia 76ersTobias Harris
Milwaukee BucksGiannis Antetokounmpo
Brooklyn NetsKevin Durant
Indiana PacersDomantas Sabonis
Boston CelticsJayson Tatum
Charlotte HornetsP.J. Washington
New York KnicksJulius Randle
Toronto RaptorsPascal Siakim
Utah JazzRoyce O’Neale
Los Angeles LakersAnthony Davis
LA ClippersNicolas Batum
Phoenix SunsCameron Johnson
Portland Trail BlazersRobert Covington
San Antonio SpursKeldon Johnson
Denver NuggetsPaul Millsap
Golden State WarriorsDraymond Green

Remember, you can’t hide Kristaps on the other big because Andre Drummond will be guarding him.

I don’t see a Kristaps-Drummond front court having much success. Their size might seduce you into imagining a stout paint presence and a powerful brand of basketball, but that fantasy would be shattered after one pick-and-roll.

Is Andre Drummond the Answer to the Mavericks’ Defensive Problems?

The Dallas Mavericks (really, Kristaps Porzingis) struggle to guard the pick-and-roll. Kristaps doesn’t have the mobility to pressure the ball-handler and keep up with a rolling big. Would Andre Drummond solve that problem?

The numbers don’t paint a pretty picture. When guarding the roll man in pick-and-rolls, Drummond mirrors Kristaps’ effectiveness, or lack thereof. They both allow 1 point per possession on 50% shooting.

This is because Drummond has to play pick-and-roll defense the same way Kristaps does – with drop coverage that allows plenty of space between him, the ball-handler, and the roller. If the player attacks him, he struggles to move his feet fast enough to provide enough resistance.

Just take a look at these clips of Andre Drummond covering a pick-and-roll. Make sure you’re in an area where sound is appropriate. Some of these clips will make you laugh out loud.

Drummond’s overall defense is no better than Kristaps’ either. In the last 15 games, Andre Drummond has a defensive rating of 122.2. That’s 8th worst in the NBA among players who play at least 15 minutes per game. It’s basically identical to Kristaps Porzingis who has a defensive rating of 122.7 during that span.

(By the way, all of this is being said without even mentioning reports of Drummond being a disengaged stat-padder.)

If defense is the problem the Mavericks are trying to solve, Andre Drummond is not the answer.

Does Andre Drummond Fit the Mavericks’ Offense?

It’s hard to not be enamored by Andre Drummond. He’s averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. But how he gets those points is important. The Kristaps Porzingis Experience has shown that not every player has plug-and-play capabilities. Style matters.

We know that Drummond will be used as the roll-man in a pick-and-roll heavy offense. How does he perform in that role?

Let’s look at the Mavericks’ current roll men and compare them to Andre Drummond.

PlayerPPP Roll Man in PnRFG%TOV Freq
Maxi Kleber1.3552.65.0%
Kristaps Porzingis1.2054.76.7%
Willie Cauley-Stein1.1159.15.6%
Dwight Powell1.0957.18.7%
Andre Drummond0.8443.29.3%

Andre Drummond’s average of 0.84 points per possession as the roll man in pick-and-rolls puts him in the 14th percentile. That means he’s better than only 14% of the league. He also has a high turnover rate compared to the Mavericks’ current options.

Could Rick Carlisle work his magic and make Drummond a wizard in the pick-and-roll? Maybe. But the numbers make that a high-risk scenario. Why take that risk when the guy they currently have – Kristaps Porzingis – is already so much better? Kristaps’ efficiency is where you would hope Drummond gets to anyway, right? Well, you already have that.

So how does Andre Drummond get his points? Well, anyone who’s jumping from the Kristaps Porzingis train to the Andre Drummond one is going to find that they’re both on the same track.

Drummond’s average of 5.4 post-up possessions per game is third in the NBA. He averages .82 points per possession on those plays, which puts him in the 30th percentile. He makes less than 44% of those shots. That’s third-worst among players in the top 20 in post-up possessions per game.

His last season with Detroit, he was slightly better at .91 points per possession – good for the 49th percentile. But for consistently being in the top 15 in post shots per game, he’s been just a high volume, low efficiency post player.

How well do you think Drummond will fit in the Mavericks’ system as a high volume post player?

For all his strength and size, Drummond isn’t an efficient scorer even when he gets to the rim. This season, the largest percentage of his shots have been at the rim. He’s only made 54% of those shots. (For context, Kristaps Porzingis has made 74% of his shots at the rim.) Widen the distance to 3-10 feet, and Drummond is shooting below 40%.

Andre Drummond’s game does not fit what the Mavericks need right now. He’s a high-volume post player and an inefficient rim roller. And as frustrating as Kristaps can be when he demands post-up opportunities, he’s actually better than Drummond in those situations.

Andre Drummond doesn’t bring anything new to the Dallas Mavericks. He wouldn’t improve their pick-and-roll defense, he doesn’t fit in as a roll-man, and he would likely stall the Mavericks’ offense as a post player.

This is probably why they’re rumored to only be interested in him as a buyout candidate. It’s a low-risk play that could result in a pleasant surprise rather than a massive disappointment, which is what the Cavaliers currently have on their hands.

How to Vote for Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis for the 2021 NBA All-Star Team

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game might be very different from previous years’. Different in that it might not happen. But that doesn’t mean an All-Star Team won’t exist. Whether the game happens or not, players will still be voted onto the team as starters and reserves.

For Mavericks’ fans, this is another opportunity to get Luka Doncic another All-Star Team nod. He earned his first appearance last season, becoming the youngest All-Star starter in 15 years – one of many records I think he’ll break. He’s even an MVP candidate this season, even though their record isn’t quite what fans expected in the first part of the season.

In addition to Luka, Kristaps Porzingis might even earn a spot this season. Sure, he’s still got his same old injury concerns, but he’s putting up nearly 20 points and 8 rebounds a game.

Here’s how to vote for Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks for the 2021 NBA All-Star Team.

In this Article
  1. How to Vote for a Player for the NBA All-Star Team
  2. Results Updates
  3. How Teams are Chosen
  4. When Captains and Starters Will be Revealed
  5. When Reserves Will be Revealed

How to Vote for a Player for the NBA All-Star Team


Voting Window: Thursday, January 28, noon ET to Tuesday, February 16 11:59 p.m. ET

2-for-1 Days (votes count twice): January 30, February 2, February 4, February 13, and February 16 on all voting platforms

A voting “day”, including 2-for-1 days, is from 12 am to 11:59 p.m. ET


NBA App: Submit a full ballot through the NBA app. A full ballot is 2 guards and 3 front court players from each conference. You can submit one full ballot each day through the NBA app.

Download the app: Android | iOS Submit a full ballot on the voting page at A full ballot is 2 guards and 3 front court players from each conference. You can submit one full ballot each day on

Twitter: Tweet, retweet, or reply to a tweet with the hashtag of a player’s first and last name or Twitter handle and include the hashtag #NBAAllStar. (For example: “#LukaDoncic #NBAAllStar” or “@luka7doncic #NBAAllStar”)

Each tweet can contain only one player’s name. You can vote for up to 10 players per day.

I made it super-easy for you! Use the Click to Tweet links below to vote for Luka or Kristaps on Twitter.

My #NBAAllStar Vote: #LukaDoncic
Click to Tweet

My #NBAAllStar Vote: #KristapsPorzingis
Click to Tweet

Results Updates

The results of fan voting will be shared throughout the voting window.

Dates: Thursday, February 4 and Thursday, February 11

How Teams are Chosen

In addition to fan voting, media members and current players have an official vote.

Here’s how the teams are chosen.

How Starters are Selected

Fans, current players, and media will vote for players to be included in the All-Star game as starters. Fan votes account for 50% of a player’s overall ranking. Current player votes will account for 25% of the ranking. Media member votes will account for 25% of the ranking.

Current players and media members vote by submitting one official ballot each. Their ballot includes three frontcourt players and two guards from each conference.

The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference are starters. If there is a tie between two players, the fan vote will be used as a tiebreaker.

Here is the formula the NBA uses to calculate a player’s final ranking:

(Fan Rank x 2 + Player Rank + Media Rank) / 4

For example, in 2019 Luka Doncic ranked 2nd in total fan votes for frontcourt players, 8th in player votes, and 6th in media votes, so his weighted score or rank was 4.5. Since only three frontcourt players are selected as starters, he did not make the cut.

How Reserves are Selected

NBA head coaches will vote for players to be included in the All-Star game as reserves. They each submit one ballot that includes two guards, three frontcourt players, and two players of any position. They can vote for any NBA player. They don’t have to choose from the players in the starters pool.

How the Teams are Drafted

There aren’t details on how the teams will be drafted because plans for the All-Star Game are still on hold. I’ll update this page as more information is revealed.

When Captains and Starters Will be Revealed

When: Thursday, February 18

Where: TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax

When Reserves Will be Revealed

When: Tuesday, February 23

Where: TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax

Luka Doncic is pretty much a lock to be a starter. It was never in doubt last year, but the move of James Harden and Russell Westbrook from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference definitely made it even more certain this year. As for Kristaps Porzingis, that’s tougher to predict. I don’t know if he deserves it this year, but you know I’m going to be voting for him anyway!