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Mavs' Luka Doncic 'Really Happy' for Kristaps Porzingis' Celtics Success

Mavs superstar Luka Doncic told reporters he is "really happy" for Kristaps Porzingis' success with the Celtics.

BOSTON — Kristaps Porzingis has seemingly found his NBA home with the Boston Celtics, bringing the best out of his skill set as a stretch big who can protect the rim. He's averaged 20.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 44 games, shooting 52.6 percent from the floor, 37.5 percent from deep, and 85.9 percent on free throws.

Porzingis, who played for the Mavs from 2019 until being traded to the Washington Wizards midway through the 2021-22 season, finished with 24 points, six rebounds, and one block against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. 

Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks

After the Celtics defeated the Mavs with a final score of 138-110, Luka Doncic stated how valuable Porzingis has been for Boston, stating he's "really happy" for his success.

“He was just popping and shooting that thing,” Doncic said. “He’s been a great addition to them. I talked to him for a little bit. He’s really happy that he’s here, so I’m happy for him, too.”

At 7-foot-3, Porzingis presents an intriguing option for the Celtics. He can catch-and-shoot from the perimeter, be an athletic rim roller, punish smaller defenders in the post, and protect the rim densively. With Boston having Al Horford, too, the team can deploy a shooting threat at all five positions whether when deploying two bigs, or just going with Porzingis at center. 

"It's a very rare thing in this league to see a team like that with five shooters," Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. "It's about team for them. You can see that with the ball movement. They're not worried about who is shooting it. A lot of times, the person shooting it is wide open."

A significant factor in Porzingis' success in Boston has been his willingness to improve in areas of his game that were previously considered shortcomings. He struggled to capitalize against mismatches in the post against the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs while not being a factor on the perimeter against switching either. However, he's since become one of the NBA's most efficient post scorers.  

“I think the trust is not out of nowhere. It’s because I’ve shown what I’m capable of doing on the court," Porzingis said. "Maybe earlier in my career, I wanted to get the ball more or whatever the situation — I wasn’t that effective. And now I am.”

If Porzingis continues to perform at his current level, the Celtics will have a strong chance of doing serious damage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. He's contributed to a 47-12 record, the best in the NBA by a substantial margin, led by the NBA's best most productive offense and ranking third in defensive rating.