Late in the first quarter of the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the LA Clippers today (22 January 2020 AEST), Mavs’ forward Dwight Powell suffered what appeared to be a torn right Achilles tendon. Powell appeared to tear the tendon after attempting to explode towards the basket after a pump fake. The incident appeared similar to the mechanism of Kevin Durant’s Achilles tear, though Powell had shown no signs of calf pain or lower leg injuries previously. The injury occurred on a night where Kristaps Porzingis returned to the line-up as the surging Mavericks’ attempted to take down Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Whilst the injury has not been confirmed as of yet, it is likely that Powell’s injury timetable will leave him in street clothes for the remainder of the regular season and possibly throughout the post-season. Powell has started 37 games for the Mavericks’ this season after locking up a 4 year/$37 million deal, averaging 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds a game. Whilst his numbers have been underwhelming this season, he has shown flashes of being an impact player with his rim-running and defensive capability.
The loss of Powell will likely hurt the Mavs who look to be a playoff lock behind their superstar Luka Doncic. Maxi Kleber and Boban Marjanovic look to be the most likely replacements in the frontcourt. Kleber projects as the more appropriate replacement with his shooting ability and rim defence.