Dallas Mavericks: Are they better with Kristaps Porzingis on the bench?
By Tyler Watts
The case against Kristaps Porzingis staying on the floor versus the LA Clippers
The Clippers are forcing KP to play in space and making him pay for it. Here he gets matched against Kawhi Leonard, and LA’s superstar immediately attacks the rim for an easy bucket.https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/30/0042000174/36/f5b82eca-39d8-130e-8501-c1ec6e14341e_1280x720.mp4
It is far from an isolated incident. Coach Rick Carlisle went to Boban Marjanovic in Game 4 because the Clippers were dominating the Mavericks in the paint. Bobi gave Dallas a lift in the first quarter, but he should not be playing over a 25-year-old star on a max contract.
The Mavericks have been outscored by seven points in KP’s 129.4 minutes on the floor in the series. It is not an astronomical number until fans consider it is 30 points in his 61.6 minutes in the last two games. Throw out Dallas’ 8-0 run to start Game 3, and the Mavericks have been outscored by 38 points in 59.1 minutes with Porzingis on the floor since the Clippers started playing small.
Can Porzingis play better defense? Yes, fans saw it inside the bubble. The Unicorn has lacked athleticism and explosiveness this season. That is unlikely to come back before Tuesday’s Game 5, which means the Dallas Mavericks are going to have to outscore LA to win if they keep Kristaps Porzingis on the floor.