By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t plan to leave the Orlando bubble and will try to return to action for the Dallas Mavericks if his team registers two straight wins in the series against the Los Angeles Clippers to move to the West’s semifinals. The Mavs are down 2-3 and their do-or-die Game 6 is being played Sunday (30/8).
“My hope is that if we have a chance to advance maybe somehow I can get the knee better and play,” Porzingis said during a zoom call. “I tried to go in practice now and the medical staff didn’t accept me playing and doing more. For now, I’m doing intense treatment and doing all I can to improve the knee and we’ll see where we’ll go from tomorrow night.” The Mavericks officially ruled out Porzingis for the rest of the series against the Clippers after the player was diagnosed with a torn meniscus.
Porzingis mentioned that he played through pain in the first three games of the series after he got injured early in the first match. “I played through it in Game 2 and Game 3. It happened in Game 1. I played in those three games. After Game 1, my knee was locked. Somehow I got it going. In Game 3, it got worse. Right before the game [4) I just couldn’t get the knee going. It was super disappointing. Super frustrating.”
Later on Saturday, Porzingis tweeted: “I appreciate all the support! I love this game and this is a part of it. I’m gonna bounce back soon.”
“The door isn’t closed in the entire season if we are able to advance,” Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said on Porzingis and added on his forward’s eagerness and effort to step back on the court if his team gets past the Clippers.
“He was on the floor today and did some shooting. He wants to keep the door open to possibly play if we can move on,” Carlisle said. “It’s a very tough situation and he’s trying his best.”
In the meantime, the short break that was caused after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 vs. the Orlando Magic, helped Luka Doncic recover his sprained ankle enough to be at near-full strength for the must-win Game 6.
“Ankle’s doing well all things considered,” Carlisle said. “I think the extra two or three days is a plus, certainly. He looked pretty good in practice today. Going into tomorrow, I don’t think he’s going to be limited.”