Rick Carlisle Explains Why The Mavs Avoid Kristaps Porzingis Post-Ups: ‘It’s A Bad Shot’

Luka Doncic made his return from an ankle sprain on Thursday night, and with the MVP candidate on the floor, the Dallas Mavericks took down the San Antonio Spurs, 102-98. With Doncic back in tow, the Mavericks didn’t need Kristaps Porzingis to be the focal point of the offense, and as a result, the big man had a quiet evening.

Porzingis scored 13 points and reeled in eight rebounds while shooting 4-for-15 from the field and 3-for-8 from three. His willingness to let it fly from deep drew the ire of the TNT studio crew during halftime, with Charles Barkley, who was famous for being a wrecking ball in the paint during his career, being especially bummed out for Porzingis not establishing himself down low.

After the game, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was asked about why Porzingis doesn’t post up more. Carlisle, in response, basically said it’s because of how the NBA has evolved.

As he elaborated on this, Carlisle explained that Porzingis is an historically good shooter on attempts above the break, so it doesn’t make much sense to not take advantage of that.

The numbers do back up that Porzingis, at the very least, better not be posting up: As our pal Jared Dubin pointed out, having him go down on the block isn’t a particularly efficient shot, but when he’s involved in pick-and-rolls, Dallas is thrashing opponents.

There is certainly an argument that Porzingis should get more looks at the rim — coming into Thursday, he was shooting a career-high 76.7 percent on shots from within three feet — but clogging up the offense by posting up is not the best idea. The math backs this up, it’s not Porzingis’ game, and he is so much more effective elsewhere. Barkley’s an old school guy, and old school guys tend to be really into big players going to work near the rim, but the numbers are just not on his side here.