Most NBA players leave the in-game analysis to the media. They keep their opinions to themselves and let the broadcasters explain what’s working, what’s not, and why certain things are happening on the court.
In Game 1 of the Dallas Mavericks’ first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Mavs superstar Luka Doncic helped the announcers out and offered his assessment of why Clippers guard Patrick Beverley can’t guard him.
It’s because, according to Doncic, he’s just “too f**king small.”
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are looking for revenge on the team that knocked them out of the playoffs in 2020
In the NBA Bubble of 2020, Doncic and the Mavericks earned the No. 7 seed and a date with the No. 2 seed Clippers. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s Clippers took two of the first three games, but in Game 4, Doncic put on a show.
The point forward capped off a 43 point, 13 assist, 16 rebound game by hitting a game-winning, 3-point buzzer-beater in overtime. The iconic shot tied up the series and instantly became a key piece of the Luka Legend.
Following the late-game heroics, Doncic struggled in Game 5, and, despite 38, 9, and 9 in Game 6, the Clippers would win the next two games and knock the Mavs out of the playoffs.
In 2021, the Clippers were again on top of the Western Conference. However, the team tanked the last few games to avoid a first-round, crosstown showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavericks struggled at times this season but pulled themselves out of the play-in tournament and into the No. 5 seed, setting up a rematch of last year’s first-round series with the LA Clippers.
The Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 on the road
Playing the Mavericks means one thing. You need to stop Doncic. The Clippers couldn’t do that in Game 1 of their 2021 playoff series, and that is why they lost 113-103.
Doncic put on an incredible display in the first of the best-of-seven series. The Slovenian star collected yet another playoff triple-double with 31 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds in his 41 minutes of game time.
Judging by Doncic’s numbers, no Clippers defender had a lot of success guarding the Mavs’ young star. At times, Leonard, George, Reggie Jackson, and Nicolas Batum all took turns trying to stop Doncic with limited success.
While the Clippers likely planned to rotate all these defenders on Doncic, they may have had to go to Plan B earlier than expected. This is because Patrick Beverley, who started the game guarding Doncic, struggled mightily.
A hot mic caught Doncic telling notorious pest Patrick Beverley he’s ‘too f**king small’
Beverley is one of the Clippers’ best and most tenacious defenders. He has a reputation around the NBA for hustle and pestering defense that can sometimes even go too far, like the time he injured Russell Westbrook diving at the then-Thunder guard’s knees.
Doncic immediately started abusing the Clippers’ 6’1″ Beverley at the start of Game 1. Just four minutes into the game, Doncic got the ball at the foul line extended and bullied Beverly down into the paint.
All Beverley could do was foul Doncic as he scored the bucket. This was when NBA mics picked up Doncic screaming at Beverley, “You’re too f**king small!”
It was a funny moment and likely an embarrassing one for Beverley. It was also a back-to-the-drawing board moment for Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. If the Clippers have any hope of beating the Mavericks again this year, they must figure out a way to stop, or at least slowdown, Doncic.
Bottling up the Mavs star is not an easy task. And, as we now know thanks to Doncic, Beverley’s just not going to cut it because he’s just “too f**king small.”
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference