The 5-4 Dallas Mavericks are set to take on the 6-5 Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. The Mavs had their last game postponed due to health and safety protocols as well as injuries keeping them from having the minimum eight active players on the roster to play. It is expected that Dallas will have enough this time as they traveled to Charlotte for the game to commence.

The Return of the Unicorn

Kristaps Porzingis was supposed to make his return on Monday before the postponement. Instead, the Latvian seven-footer got an extra day to rehab and is listed as a probable starter against the Hornets. Expect Porzingis to be on a minute’s restriction while he works his way back from surgery on his meniscus.

In the restart bubble before his injury KP was averaging 26 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 35 minutes per game. He was shooting 45% from the field and 36% from three while making three per game. The Mavs were in prime position to upset the Clippers before he tore his meniscus.

Next Man Up

Dallas is going to be missing key starters and rotation players in this game and for the next few games as well. Starters Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber are all out. Key bench players Dwight Powell and Jalen Brunson are also in quarantine per health and safety protocols.

Expect to see more Josh Green and Wes Iwundu. Green, the Mavs first round draft pick, played 15 minutes in Saturday’s win against the Magic when Dallas was also forced into a skeleton crew situation. Iwundu played 32 minutes that did not result in an eye-popping box score but instead earned praise from Coach Carlisle after the game.

Since the Mavs will be thin at the forward spots, we should also expect to see more James Johnson and Boban Marjanovic. Johnson scored 12 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and had 2 steals and 1 block in 26 minutes against the Magic. The 11-year forward has seen a little resurgence and been a pleasant surprise for the Mavs this season, they will need him to continue to play well while they are without Maxi and Powell.

All Eyes on Luka

The expectations for The Wonder Boy coming into this season were, and continue to be, MVP. Instead of charging out of the gates to begin the season, Doncic was met with harsh, but fair criticism of his preparedness for the season and how it was affecting his game. He did start out slow but is starting to turn the corner. Below is his breakdown between the first four games he played and the last four games he has played. Improvement in all areas except turnovers. If he can get the turnovers down and continue to improve, there should be no reason why he cannot win MVP.

FIRST 4

LAST 4

DIFF

MP

30

38

8

FG%

44%

46%

2%

3P

0.5

2.75

2.25

3P%

10%

30%

20%

FT%

79%

83%

4%

TRB

5.75

12.5

6.75

AST

6.25

10.25

4

STL

0.75

1.5

0.75

BLK

0.25

1

0.75

TOV

2.25

6.75

4.5

PF

1.25

1.5

0.25

PTS

23.75

29.5

5.75

Staff writer covering the Dallas Mavericks | I was in Miami when the Mavs won in 2011 and I was in the building to see Dirk's 30K point. I follow the Mavs and NBA religiously, with the Cowboys and Rangers sprinkled in. Outside of sports I like The Office, cooking, and good beer.

This article first appeared on Dallas Sports Fanatic and was syndicated with permission.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter

+

Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.