Soon to be new Pistons owner Tom Gores was in the building. Charlie Villanueva has an interesting way of impressing him.
What ended as one of the craziest moments of the year — with police trying to stop a locker room fight — started on the court with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter. The Pistons had the ball as part of their play Villanueva tried to set a pick on the Cavaliers center Ryan Hollins, and Hollins puts a little shoulder into Charlie V. So far it’s like a play that happens a dozen times a game at least.
But Villanueva and Hollins get tangled up and Villanueva’s hands come up to Hollins face. Pretty quickly Hollins follows suit and the two are pushing each other and being separated.
The refs come in and both men get a technical and are ejected.
Then Villanueva snaps — he runs toward the Cavaliers bench with Pistons security trying to hold him back and get him to the locker room. Villanueva essentially challenges Hollins to continue this out in the hallway by the locker rooms and Villanueva went over by the Cavs locker room.
Security kept Hollins on the bench until Charlie V. was in the Pistons locker room, then he was escorted to the visitors locker room. Through it all the Pistons PA announcer is reminding fans not to throw anything or charge the court.
Watch the video. C.R.A.Z.Y.
But it doesn’t end there.
About 10 minutes after this police standing on a loading dock between the two locker rooms had to stop Villanueva from charging into the Cavaliers locker room, according to multiple reports
After the game, Villanueva was asked why he nuts, and he told Dave Hogg (of the AP among others):
“You’ve got to be careful with the quiet ones, right?”
Suddenly, Kevin Garnett seems a little more sane.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.