Dallas center Dwight Powell sustained what the Mavericks fear is a “severe” injury to his right Achilles tendon in a 110-107 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
Coach Rick Carlisle said the club would wait on an MRI exam to determine the extent of the injury, but said the injury was “feared to be severe.”
Powell went down with a non-contact injury with 2:57 left in the first quarter. He was helped to the locker room while putting no weight on his right leg. Teammate J.J. Barea — who tore his right Achilles tendon last campaign — was distraught as Powell was taken off the court.
“It doesn’t get much tougher than this, if it ends up being what we fear it might,” Carlisle said. “But he will be back, regardless. There’s just some guys you just know, they have a level of resourcefulness, a level of fight in them. Barea’s one of them. Powell’s another. He’ll be back.”
Porzingis can relate to Powell, as he returned this year after missing a season-and-a-half with a torn ACL.
“Dwight has a really good mindset, a really strong mindset,” Porzingis said. “He’s going to be fine throughout the rehab if we get the worst news. He’ll be around, I’m sure. He’s great for the locker room. He’s great for the culture that we’re trying to create.”
Powell, in his sixth season in the NBA, has averaged nearly 10 points and six rebounds a game in 39 previous games. He had increased his scoring average over each of his first five seasons.
Powell has played all but five of his 371 career matches for the Mavericks, arriving from Boston in a five-player trade in December 2014 that also brought point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo’s style clashed with Carlisle, but Powell’s energy and productivity in the paint has made him a favorite of the coach.
“He is a constant,” Carlisle said. “He’s a constant team-first guy. He’s a constant worker. He’s a constant everything. Guys like him define the culture that we want here.”