Hardaway Jr.: “This is what you live for”
Superstar players on playoff teams bring expectations and expectations bring bright lights.
And that’s what the Mavericks facing head on this season. Making the playoffs last season, led by Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are expected to make a jump this season as a potential darkhorse contender.
“I mean, this is what you live for…you’re getting to play under the bright lights…playing on primetime television, especially the first two games of the season, right there it shows we’re up there with the elite and we have to go out there and perform as an elite team,” Hardaway Jr. says of being a contender this season.
With the additions of Josh Richardson, James Johnson, along with the draft class, the Mavericks have put an emphasis on the defensive end during the offseason. On top of bringing back Trey Burke and JJ Barea as well as having a healthy Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell, Dallas is looking to not just be a playoff team but to make serious noise come the postseason.
“Everybody talks about trying to get there and now we’re finally there. Just have to embrace the moment. Embrace the time and never take it for granted. Just being able to be in that position is amazing and a blessing.”
Porzingis: Chance of playing Christmas Day?
Don’t get your hopes up.
Mavericks brass have been consistent in saying that they won’t rush Porzingis back. The last thing they need to do is potentially put KP’s body at risk if he’s not 100% ready.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t be optimistic.
“I hope I can get ready and healthy by then,” Porzingis said of playing on Christmas Day.
“I’m not, I’m not,” he said when asked if he’s ruling out not playing against the Lakers. “I feel good. I’m making big steps forward in my progress and I don’t know, I just want to be out there as soon as possible. I want to be out there for Christmas and play those games. But we’ll see, that’s me talking, not the medical staff.”
KP later compared this rehab to the ACL rehab and surgery as “a piece of cake.”
On Tuesday, Coach Carlisle said that Porzingis wouldn’t play until at least January so whatever he, Casey Smith, and the Mavericks’ staff says, goes.
Though optimistic, as we can all champion and get behind, it’d be quite the surprise if we see #6 on the floor at Staples Center come Christmas Day. But because KP is so optimistic, it has to be a good sign in his rehab as Carlisle confirmed saying that KP’s rehab has “gone without issue and if anything, we’re had to hold him back.”
“I’ll be ready to go, just might miss the first few games of the season.”
Fingers crossed for an early-January debut for Porzingis.
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