DALLAS - The Mavericks have been the focus of some unfavorable off-the-court storylines at times this season. Among them was the occasional "dust-ups" between Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis that team-owner Mark Cuban spoke about.
In an interview with Radio Marca, Porzingis made it clear he hasn't had any problems with teammates in his NBA career and he makes it a point to be professional.
“I’ve never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I’ve always gotten along very well with them. I don’t know what Cuban was talking about. I try to be as professional as possible, do what I have to do and be a soldier for the team,” Porzingis told MARCA.
The attention drawn to Porzingis from Cuban's comment was untimely when considering he has already drawn criticism for his inconsistent availability for the Mavericks.
Porzingis has appeared in 40 of the team's 69 regular season games. He's been sidelined during much of the stretch-run leading into the playoffs - making it particularly troubling.
Even when Porzingis was playing his best basketball of the season back in March, he was catching attention for his noticeable lack of enthusiasm for Doncic's big plays during games. While the rest of the team was celebrating, Porzingis often was not.
It's important for Porzingis and the Mavericks that he manages to stay healthy for the playoffs and thrives while doing so. If that fails to transpire, naturally, there will be questions about the long-term viability of his partnership with Doncic.
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As it stands on Wednesday morning, the plan seems to be for KP to participate in this evening's visit to the AAC by the Pelicans, where a win would help Dallas - coming off a Tuesday loss at Memphis and presently in sixth place in the West - fortify its playoff position.
And Porzingis says he wants to help.
The NBA is a league where winning needs to happen early and often with a superstar talent. Luka Doncic has clearly solidified himself as such and if Kristaps Porzingis isn't getting the job done, a reconfiguration of the supporting cast may be necessary.