With six minutes remaining in the first half of Game 1 between the L.A. Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks, talented big man Kristaps Porzingis picked up a seemingly harmless technical foul for arguing with an official after what he believed to be a clean block
However, that play would come back to bite Porzingis and the Mavericks at the 9:10 mark of the third quarter. Porzingis became involved in a back-and-forth with Marcus Morris that netted both players technical fouls and all kinds of reaction.
Porzingis a real one for going at Marcus Morris without hesitation after he started talking to Luka pic.twitter.com/Vty52pdFbX
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 18, 2020
Because it was Porzingis’ second technical of the night, he was ejected from the proceedings. Given his importance to the Mavericks and the lack of a significant incident, the result was highly controversial. In fact, many high-profile figures around the NBA weighed in, with LeBron James and Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki among them.
Man that was BOGUS AS HELL MAN!!!!! Cmon man. 🤦🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 18, 2020
That ejection is super soft…
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) August 18, 2020
The reactions continued to roll in from there, with active players pushing back on the ejection amid the circumstances, including the fact that Porzingis was stepping in alongside Luka Doncic.
…you can’t eject him Kristaps for that. Protecting the Mavs best player. That’s bad.
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) August 18, 2020
No ejection in the playoffs man
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) August 18, 2020
man yall got to change that!!!
— Jordan Clarkson (@JordanClarksons) August 18, 2020
Porzingis exited after 20 minutes of play, and he produced 14 points and six rebounds before his ejection. In his absence, the Mavericks’ frontcourt rotation is significantly hampered, with Maxi Kleber and Boban Marjanovic thrust into larger roles. Beyond that, Dallas was in a strong position to potentially steal Game 1 after a tremendous first half response and that becomes a tougher proposition without Porzingis available.