The less said about yesterday’s Mavericks loss to the Lakers, the better.
In a vacuum, dropping a game to one of the most talented rosters in the league without Luka Doncic is on the floor is palatable. In context, it was peak hoops frustration, a should-be win bungled by failing to secure a game-sealing rebound in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, followed by a fairly ludicrous game-tying three by ex-Mavs bit player Wayne Ellington, plus two even weirder ones in overtime from the not-especially-sweet-shooting Russell Westbrook and someone named Austin Reaves (if you, like me, were not aware of this person’s existence prior to yesterday, The Ringer’s Mirin Fader wrote a nice feature on him yesterday morning).
I’ve already said too much; I can tell you’re bummed. So I’ll stop talking and leave you with this feed from Kristaps Porzingis, which is up there with anything Luka Doncic himself has dished out this season.
Porzingis DIME!!!! 😳 pic.twitter.com/7sPyV1OA1A
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 16, 2021
Among the only silver linings of Doncic’s ongoing ankle woes has been Porzingis reasserting himself as someone who can be relied upon to shoulder a significant offensive workload without Dallas’ best player on the floor. His first half in Monday’s win over Charlotte, in particular, was exactly what an NBA team pays its second star for: to grab the roster by the scruff of the neck and drag it to victory a few times a year.
He was unable to do the same last night, although he did turn in 23 points and 12 boards on less-than-ideal shooting. At least he racked up some style points along the way.