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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Doc Rivers calls Kristaps Porzingis’ Clippers criticisms ‘ridiculous’

Doc Rivers

There appears to be some real tension developing between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks after Game 1 of their playoff series.

Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis was ejected from Dallas’ Game 1 loss for picking up two technicals, which many felt were weak calls. Porzingis stirred the pot a bit after the game, suggesting that the Clippers’ role players tactically agitate opponents.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers took exception to that on Tuesday, calling it “ridiculous” to assert that Clippers players are going out of their way to try to agitate opponents.

“We have some guys who are agitators. I think that’s good,” Rivers said, via Mark Medina of USA Today. “But I can guarantee you that wasn’t on our game-plan list. That’s just ridiculous.”

Porzingis was likely referring to Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris, who have gained reputations for being physical players who like to talk trash. Morris’ shove on Luka Doncic was what inspired Porzingis to intervene in the scuffle that got him his second technical on Tuesday, and Beverley also got involved in the confrontation.

Morris even agitates his own teammates sometimes. Porzingis and Rivers are in agreement on the key point: some of the Clippers’ role players definitely get under opponents’ skin, whether they plan it or not. It works, too — it helped get Porzingis tossed from Game 1.

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