How much does the loss of Kristaps Porzingis affect the Mavericks chances of upsetting the Clippers? Photo by @kporzee (Twitter).
- Dallas will be without Kristaps Porzingis for the rest of the playoffs due to a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee
- Porzingis was the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game this season
- Read below for analysis on whether or not the Mavericks can overcome a 3-2 series deficit versus the Clippers without Porzingis
Let’s face it. Few people expected the Dallas Mavericks to win any games in their first round series versus the Los Angeles Clippers let alone two. Dallas has surprised the basketball world by making this best-of-seven series extremely competitive, but it looks like injuries are going to be their undoing.
Kristaps Porzingis is out for the remainder of the first-round playoff series, per the Mavericks.
The team announced he’s been receiving treatment for a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. pic.twitter.com/ejFVLAvj8t
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 28, 2020
Star guard Luka Doncic is battling an ankle injury and now second leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis is done for the rest of the playoffs due to a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.
Mavericks vs Clippers Series Odds
|Team||Odd to Win Series at FanDuel|
|Los Angeles Clippers||-3000|
Odds taken Aug. 28th.
Not surprisingly, the series odds have shifted drastically in the Clippers favor, as the Mavs are now +1120 to pull off the upset. LA leads the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 now set for Sunday, August 30th,
2020 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Life Without Porzingis
Dallas averages 1.16 points per possession with Porzingis on the floor, compared to 1.146 with him off the court. The 7-footer averaged 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game this season, and that kind of production is hard to replace. Of course now even more of the offensive burden is going to fall on an injured Doncic, whose usage rate jumps to 37.2 without KP.
Luka really played 45 minutes, had a 43-point triple-double and beat the Clippers without Kristaps Porzingis on a game winner TWO days after doing this. pic.twitter.com/8x53vt0cdw
— Hoop Statistics (@Hoop_statistics) August 23, 2020
The Mavericks are 1-1 in this series without Porzingis, winning an epic OT thriller in Game 4, before being blown out by 43 points in Game 5.
Another player who’s going to have to step up offensively is Tim Hardaway Jr, who’s averaged 20 points in the last two games without KP. Hardaway’s usage rate jumps from 19.5 to 22.7 without Porzingis, and the Mavs are going to desperately need him to knockdown his open looks.
Still Can’t Stop Kawhi
With or without Porzingis, the biggest problem Dallas is facing in this series is that they can’t stop Kawhi Leonard. Last year’s Finals MVP has been a one-man wrecking crew, averaging 32.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals. He’s shooting 52.3% from the field and his 26.91 PER this season if the second highest of his career.
Kawhi Leonard… this is unfair. pic.twitter.com/Cc7ArWT4HZ
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) August 22, 2020
Leonard is clearly the focal point of the Mavs defense and the extra attention they’re paying him is freeing up plenty of open looks for his teammates. The Clippers are knocking down 40.6% of their 3-point attempts in the series, and they’re shooting 46.7% from behind the arc since Game 2.
Dallas ranks dead last among playoff teams in scoring defense, allowing LA to rack up 129.8 points per game through five contests. Porzingis is one of the few reliable shot blockers on the Mavs’ roster, and his absence will only increase the Clippers offensive efficiency.
Bet LA in Game 6 Instead
LA will be moving on to the next round of the playoffs, but instead of betting them to win the series at -3000, you should just bet them on the moneyline in Game 6. The Clippers are -480 to close out the Mavericks on Sunday, which is a steep price to pay, but nowhere near as steep as their inflated series price.
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.