Based on coach Jason Kidd’s analysis, it doesn’t appear the lower-back tightness that knocked Kristaps Porzingis out of Tuesday’s game against Houston is going to cause long-term complications.

Porzingis was able to do some on-court work Wednesday.

“He’s doing good,” Kidd said. “He did some work on the floor and we’ll see how he feels (Thursday). Hopefully he can go.”

Porzingis, who exited against the Rockets in the middle of the third quarter, has been listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against San Antonio at American Airlines Center.

The Spurs game is the first of back-to-back games. The Mavericks visit Denver on Friday. This is their first back-to-back of the season.

In the past, the Mavericks have been cautious with Porzingis’ playing time in back-to-back games. Often, he has sat out either the front or back end of those situations.

Kidd said that no determination has been made yet on how to handle those situations.

“We’ll talk about the back-to-backs,” he said. “We’re taking it one day at a time. This will be our first back-to-back. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon we’ll have a plan. But first we want to just see how he feels and hopefully he can go tomorrow.”

In addition to Porzingis, guard Sterling Brown has been listed as questionable for the Spurs’ game with a left ankle sprain that he suffered during a scrimmage near the end of Wednesday’s practice.

NOT JUST LIP SERVICE: Every coach in any sport preaches to his players that they should always prepare the same way. Whether they are Luka Dončić or the 15th man on the bench, be ready to play.

Kidd proved that suggestion is more than just lip service when he played all 15 players in Tuesday’s home opener.

Usually, the only way that happens is when a game is a blowout, one way or the other.

This was different and the players who weren’t in the rotation in the opening two road games could appreciate Kidd’s strategy.

“This is what we work for every day,” said center Moses Brown, who didn’t get off the bench in the first two games, but had three minutes and a huge impact with two blocks and three points in the win over Houston. “We get in the gym and work and try to stay prepared for those moments when our number is called. That’s part of being a professional.

“It definitely did (show the players something) because we’re a team trying to win and we need good team wins. A good team win means that everybody’s involved. Coach had a good talk about it earlier that everybody contributed and was able to be relied upon.

“The results speak for themselves.”

Jalen Brunson, whose place as the team’s first guard off the bench is secure, said everybody noticed the uptick in energy during Tuesday’s game and again Wednesday at practice.

“Let’s go. Let’s go,” Brunson said when asked what he first thought of when he learned of the 15-strong game plan. “It got everyone fired up. I don’t think it’s ever happened before.

“The chemistry we have, the guys in the locker room, you could see we were all happy for each other. We all contributed and made plays for each other and found a way to win with all 15 guys, which hasn’t really been done. It was something that was needed going forward to give everyone confidence when they come into the game that they can make plays.

SPEAKING OF BRUNSON: The 6-1 point guard tied his career best with 11 assists against the Rockets.

He was asked if he put a special emphasis on his playmaking and ball-distribution this offseason.

He referenced conversations he had with Kidd and former Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle last summer, as well as talks with his dad about how to improve after what he considered to be a subpar showing in the playoff series against the Clippers.

He said he tried to improve all aspects of his game, not just his playmaking.

“For me, I play the cards I’m dealt,” Brunson said. “So last year, I kind of had to play more off the ball when Luka’s in the game. It’s knowing when to score and when to make plays. Last year, I needed more to score. This year, I’m just trying to find ways to balance that by not dropping how I can score, but reading what the defense is giving me. Last night it was passing and creating for others. Other nights, it’s going to be one on one.”

Twitter: @ESefko

Share and comment

More Mavs News