NEW ORLEANS—Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was asked about knee injuries in general and about the one to New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson in particular.
“Every team goes through something in that area,” Carlisle said. “Medicine has progressed at such a high level, guys are on the rehab track and they’re doing active things so much sooner than they were a few years ago.
“I’m sure that New Orleans has a great medical staff — the same that we do in Dallas — and I’m sure they’ll take great care of Zion. You always hope that things like this don’t happen, and when they do you’ve all got to be prepared.”
Mavs forward Kristaps Porzingis tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and underwent surgery on Feb. 13, 2008. Friday was Porzingis’ second game since that injury, so he offered some advice for Williamson.
“One day at a time,” Porzingis said. “Patience. Patience. That’s what I did.”
Williamson had surgery on Monday to repair his torn right meniscus and is slated to be sidelined from six-to-eight weeks.
LEE OFFERS ENCOURAGEMENT: Take a look while he’s on the bench or in the game, and it’s obvious that veteran guard Courtney Lee is usually somewhere offering an encouraging word to one of the young Mavs teammates.
“He’s a highly respected veteran, because of what he’s done in his career, but also the way he carries himself and the way he represents himself in the locker room and on the practice floor,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He pushes his teammates, he’s always saying the right things to the young guys and pushing them to do better and to be better.
“He’s created a really nice competitiveness in our practices. Guys like that have great value. (J. J.) Barea’s doing the same thing for us. (Barea) didn’t get on the floor (Wednesday) night (against Washington), but he’s a very important guy as well.”
POWELL PLAYING SUNDAY?: Coach Rick Carlisle said he doesn’t know if center Dwight Powell will be ready to play in Sunday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Powell strained his left hamstring early in training camp and missed all five preseason games and the first two regular season games.
“I do know that he’s continued to progress,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He had another good day today.
“It’s really a day-to-day situation at this point, which is good. I don’t know that Sunday is a ‘yes’ at this time.”
NOTABLE: By the way, the 34 points Luka Doncic scored in Wednesday’s game against Washington were the most points scored by a player 20 years old or younger in a season debut in NBA history. The previous record was 32 scored by Atlanta’s John Drew against Chicago on Oct. 18, 1974. . .Porzingis scored 17 points and blocked three shots in the first half of Friday’s game at New Orleans. The Mavs were down 41-27 after the first quarter, but led 72-64 at the half.