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#pounditFriday, October 30, 2020

Kristaps Porzingis feeling ‘better than I ever have’ heading into season

Kristaps Porzingis sat out the entire 2018-19 season to assure he could fully recover from an ACL injury he suffered when he was with the New York Knicks, and he sounds confident that the patient approach has paid off.

Porzingis, who tore his ACL 20 months ago, told reporters on Monday that he will not have any restrictions when training camp begins with the Dallas Mavericks. He said he is feeling no ill effects from the knee surgery and declared himself 100 percent healthy.

“I feel great physically,” Porzingis said, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I feel 100 percent. I feel probably better than I ever have in my life.”

Porzingis has yet to make his debut in Dallas after the Mavs acquired him in a blockbuster trade with the Knicks prior to last year’s deadline. His teammates have had nothing but good things to say about the way he has looked in workouts and pickup games this summer, and Porzingis said he is anxious to remind people of the type of player he is.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been out, but I’ve been putting in work throughout this rehab process,” he added. “I’m extremely excited to be back on the court and to remind everybody what I’m capable of doing.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is not ruling out Porzingis resting for the second game of back-to-backs early in the season, which is to be expected given how long he has been out. However, Porzingis looks like he is in tremendous physical shape and has bulked up this offseason, so he probably feels his body can handle a full workload.

Dallas brought Porzingis in hoping he will create a dynamic pairing with second-year point guard Luka Doncic, and Porzingis believes he and the Rookie of the Year “could be a nightmare” for opponents. Even if it takes Porzingis some time to shake off the rust, he should be a good fit with the Mavericks.

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