Knicks’ Mike Miller defends Bobby Portis over flagrant foul on Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis became the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons on Tuesday evening. The 24-year-old Arkansas product was ejected from their match against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, after sending Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the floor with a violent swipe right through the temple.
Bobby Portis was soon lambasted online for his dirty play, with some calling for a lengthy suspension for putting Caldwell-Pope in a precarious predicament. Shortly after the New York was handed an 87-117 beatdown by the number one team in the Western Conference, Knicks head coach Mike Miller came to the defense of his player.
The 55-year-old bench boss made it clear that Portis was going for the ball during the play and did not intend to put KCP in harm’s way.
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) January 8, 2020
It is also worth noting that this is not the first time Portis has been involved in a violent display, as he gained notoriety back in 2017 when he sucker-punched then Chicago Bulls teammate Nikola Mirotic during practice. Mirotic suffered a fractured face and a concussion and missed considerable time after the incident.
Entering Tuesday’s match-up, Portis has been averaging 10.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in his first stint in The Big Apple, while making 44.3 percent of his shots from the field and 38.2 percent from downtown.
With New York possessing significant talent upfront, there have been ongoing rumblings about Portis being shopped around by the Knicks. With Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle and Taj Gibson soaking up major minutes, Portis has become the odd man out in the team’s rotation.
Interestingly enough, Caldwell Pope and Portis could possibly end up as teammates, as the Lakers are reportedly one of the few teams who expressed their desire to avail for the big man’s services.