Early in the third quarter of the Mavericks' 124-107 win over the Cavaliers on Sunday, Luka Doncic was given a Flagrant-2 and an ejection after making"an aggressive strike to the groin area" of Collin Sexton. The 22-year-old superstar was stunned by the refs' decision.
After I saw the video, I knew I hit him, but it wasn't nothing on purpose. I think that kind of stuff happens a lot in games, but I don't know. That's my explanation. It obviously wasn't on purpose. It was just two guys fighting for a rebound, I guess.
Luka Doncic, ESPN
Even Sexton said he didn't believe Doncic hit him on purpose. "It was just a boxout play," he said. "Usually, whenever someone is handchecking, then you punch down or swing down. It was just in the groin, but it's all good." But Rasheed Wallace, the guy who was involved with a career-long crusade against NBA referees, thinks otherwise.
For me, that's an ass whoopin. You did that deliberately. He didn't like the way that Colin Sexton was blocking him out. He felt as though that Colin maybe put a little bit of extra on him. No! It's a simple block out; you gotta get low when you blocking out the big man and then for him to turn around and as you're looking at me, throw a shot to my Johnson, that's an ass whoopin, dawg.
Rasheed Wallace, ESPN
Thankfully, Sexton kept his cool. If that were Rasheed, judging by his track record, things would've probably played out differently. And nobody would blame him -- no matter what both Doncic and Sexton say, that was a cheap shot. But it seems the Cavs guard isn't holding grudges against Luka for it.
The Flagrant-2 does not add to Doncic's technical foul total, as he's still one T away from an automatic one-game suspension. With three games left in the regular season, the Mavericks hold the 6th seed, one game ahead of the Lakers, and the play-in spot. The rest of their schedule features the Pelicans, Raptors, and Timberwolves.
Dallas has control of its own destiny. Depending on Luka's availability, they should be a lock to avoid the play-in tournament. That's why it's of the utmost importance for the Mavs best player to keep his composure and avoid picking up his 16th technical of the season. And Rasheed gave him advice on how to do it.
Luka, just keep playing. You busting their ass, killing them already, dawg. Just keep playing, doing what you're doing; you ain't even gotta say nothing to the refs. You're going to the line; you're getting buckets, y'all winning, hey, go ahead, you're doing your thing bro.
Rasheed Wallace, ESPN
This is coming from a guy who holds the record for most technicals in a single season with 41. But even he knew when it was time to keep it under control. If Sheed could do it, Luka can do it. The rest of the Mavs' season depends on it.