Kristaps Porzingis’ ejection in Game 1 of Mavericks-Clippers on Monday night may have swung the momentum in the playoff series, and there’s been some belief circulating about the veteran team baiting the young big man into losing his cool.
It sure makes sense on paper, as Porzingis was playing in his first playoff game, and the Clippers have veterans such as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Marcus Morris and Patrick Beverley that have been there, and done that. And so when Morris began chirping Porzingis, he probably knew the the seven-footer already had a technical foul. Sure enough, Porzingis reacted, playing right into Morris’ hands, and each player got hit with a technical, resulting in the Mavs big man being ejected.
And if you ask Porzingis, the Clippers were provoking him into exactly that, as he said his opponents “got what they were looking for.”
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers isn’t buying that talk, though, and he responded to Porzingis’ claim in speaking to reporters.
“I think we have some guys who are agitators; I think that’s good,” he said, via the Los Angeles Times. “But I can guarantee you that wasn’t on our game plan list. That’s just ridiculous. ‘OK, let’s get him thrown out.’ I didn’t like [the ejection], actually.”
We completely agree with what Rivers said, as Porzingis should’ve expected the chirping, as that’s what happens in the playoffs. And given that he already had a technical foul, he should’ve just turned the other cheek and walked away — rather than complaining about it.