Mavs' Porzingis after 4th-quarter benching: I 'can't blame' Carlisle
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Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis wasn't at his best during Monday night's loss to the Boston Celtics.

The Latvian mustered just four points on 1-of-11 shooting, and he wasn't bitter about head coach Rick Carlisle's decision to bench him for the final nine minutes, four seconds of regulation.

"Of course I want to be out there, but can't blame him," Porzingis told reporters postgame, including ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "I wasn't having a great game. I'm all-in for whatever's best for the team. If the coach thinks he'd rather have me out and have someone else in that's having a better game, let's do it if we can win a basketball game. That's the most important thing, but going forward, I want to make sure I'm out there."

Porzingis was the centerpiece of a blockbuster deal with the New York Knicks ahead of last season's trade deadline. He signed a five-year, $158 million max contract with the Mavs this past summer and is expected to form a potent partnership with Luka Doncic.

But the pair have been struggling early to coexist on the floor together.

Both Doncic and Porzingis are among the highest usage players at their respective positions. Doncic ranks ninth among all qualified players at 32.4%, while Porzingis is 36th at 26%, nearly 5% below the 24-year-old's rate during his last campaign in 2017-18.

Consequently, the 7-footer is taking fewer shots than usual, and he's experiencing growing pains in a new system.

"Sometimes I'm not going to get the ball as much as I'd like to, and that leads to me maybe forcing some things and so on," Porzingis said. "It's a work in progress. I know coach is trying to do the best job he can to get me the ball in the offense and utilize my skills, and I also got to do a better job of making sure I'm effective in those situations."

Porzingis is averaging 18.3 points, 7.9 boards, and 2.4 blocks across nine appearances for the Mavs this season.

Mavs' Porzingis after 4th-quarter benching: I 'can't blame' Carlisle
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