The Dallas Mavericks sorely struggled to score in their 107-77 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday. At one point, frustrations reached a boiling point where Luka Doncic was called for his 14th technical foul of the season.
Doncic was called for the tech in the fourth quarter when the Mavericks already trailed by 23 points. The call was made in response to his arguing over a play that did not result in a shooting foul when he felt it was warranted.
Luka Doncic vs. Knicks
RJ Barrett Drives Against Luka Doncic
Mavericks Star Luka Doncic
“He’s one of the biggest crybabies in the league,” Knicks legend Walt Frazier said on the broadcast after Doncic was called for a technical foul. “Look at him, he’s always crying.”
One of the brewing storylines surrounding Doncic, beyond his incredible level of play since not receiving a single media vote to be an All-Star starter, is his large amount of technical fouls. He is now two away from receiving an automatic one-game suspension.
Last Gasp: Mark Cuban Leads Final Jalen Brunson Recruiting Meeting
The Mavericks have secured a meeting with Jalen Brunson after free agency opens.
NBA Free Agency: Mavs Betting Odds Favorites to Sign Mo Bamba, Victor Oladipo?
Dallas Mavericks GM Nico Harrison isn’t going to sit around and mope about potentially losing Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks.
NBA Trade Rumor: Mavs Interested in Sixers’ Matisse Thybulle?
Thybulle would fit into the defensive culture coach Jason Kidd has established in Dallas.
“It was nothing man," Doncic said in response when asked about picking up another technical foul. "Just can’t no more.”
Back in early December, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd made public comments about Doncic needing to understand when to talk to officials as opposed to doing it in favor of getting back on defense.
Jalen Brunson Talks with Jason Kidd
Mavericks Coach Jason Kidd
Luka Doncic Talks with Jason Kidd
"I would lean toward playing 5-on-5 a bit more," Kidd said. "You're not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there's a point in time in games — dead balls — to be able to talk to officials."
It will be crucial for Doncic to avoid putting himself and his teammates in a position where he’d be sidelined for an important game down the stretch. With playoff positioning on the line in the Western Conference, the Mavericks need to maximize everything they possibly can — not just to potentially gain home-court advantage, but to also avoid slipping into the NBA Play-In Tournament.