Mavs' Mark Cuban Says Kristaps Porzingis Has Been 'Unfairly Maligned' After Playoffs

Adam WellsJuly 15, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks scores a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of Game Five of the Western Conference first round series at Staples Center on June 2, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks governor Mark Cuban voiced his support for Kristaps Porzingis after a disappointing playoffs for the 25-year-old. 

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Cuban said Porzingis has been "unfairly maligned" since the Mavs' season ended. 

"He did exactly what was asked of him in the postseason," added Cuban. 

Porzingis hasn't live up to the expectations placed on him since the Mavericks acquired him in a Jan. 2019 trade with the New York Knicks. 

Coming off a torn ACL suffered in Feb. 2018, Porzingis sat out the 2018-19 season. He signed a five-year max extension worth $158.3 million with Dallas in July 2019 to be the second star next to Luka Doncic. 

Porzingis has occasionally flashed that ability, but the overall results have been underwhelming. He's averaged 20.3 points on 44.8 percent shooting (36.2 percent from three) and 9.2 rebounds per game in 100 regular-season starts over the past two seasons. 

In the Mavs' first-round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers this year, Porzingis averaged just 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with a 29.6 three-point percentage in seven starts. 

Porzingis was held to single-digit scoring three times in that series. He didn't have one free-throw attempt in Games 5 or 6. 

The Mavs have lost to the Clippers in the first round in each of the past two years. They led 2-0 after the first two games this year before dropping four of the next five. 

Dallas hasn't advanced past the first round of the playoffs since winning the NBA championship in 2010-11.