Mac Engel

After a long wait, Mavs will unveil Luka and Porzingis together at open scrimmage

Not sure the timing of the Mavs’ open scrimmage Sunday at the American Airlines Center was scouted adequately; the Dallas Cowboys will play the Green Bay Packers at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and the Mavs will host a free scrimmage at 1 p.m.

The doors to the AAC will open at 11:30 a.m., and the free scrimmage is scheduled to begin promptly 90 minutes later. Parking is also free.

Everyone in the building, and outside of it, with any interest in the Mavs has patiently waited for this moment. The Mavs will finally see Luka Doncic play with Kristaps Porzingis as teammates.

“I don’t know what the teams are going to be,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.

Let me be of assistance; it would be nice, at least for 10 minutes or so, if Carlisle pairs Luka with Z on the same team.

Porzingis has not played in any type of NBA game since he suffered a torn ACL as a member of the New York Knicks on Feb. 6, 2018. The Mavs traded for The Unicorn in January.

Without seeing him play a game for the Mavs, the club gave him a five-year, $158 million deal in the summer. Because top free agents have no interest in the Mavs, owner Mark Cuban had no choice but to do this.

The Mavs are years away from contending for another title, but at least Luka and Z make the franchise relevant. They should make them competitive.

In his rookie year, The Luka was as good as advertised as he was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

Now he has Porzingod.

“I am not worried one bit (about the knee),” Zingis said this week after practice. “I’m not worried about the injury or how I am going to feel on the court. I knew I felt good, working out individually. Then, once the contact came, I felt even better. I feel very natural. It does not feel like I’ve been out for that long.”

Since being acquired from the Knicks, the Mavericks took every careful, precautionary measure possible to ensure Zingis would be fine when this season starts. He looked good on the practice floor in the spring.

He put on muscle in the summer. Watching the team practice in training camp, Zingis looks unguardable now.

Carlisle refuses to make any predictions about much of anything regarding Z, other than he won’t play in any back to back games.

If Z is healthy, he’s one of the best scoring big men in basketball with few equals. We are talking about a 7-foot-2 human being who can shoot 3-pointers.

After this Euro two-step, there is a 83,245-foot drop in talent for the Mavs. They have no proven third scorer, and rebounding is going to be an issue. Maybe Justin Jackson can score.

After their Euro two-step, the Mavs have a handful of nice role players. They have NBA roster guys and some decent pros.

What they do have is two NBA All-Star caliber scorers and players, and now we can see them together for the first time.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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