It was an ugly game at Madison Square Garden on Friday, where the Knicks melted down as they were being manhandled during a blowout loss to the Bulls.
Carmelo Anthony and head coach Mike Woodson were ejected for arguing with officials, but the play that brought things to a head occurred with 4:39 to play and Chicago leading by 16, and resulted in both Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah being ejected for their actions.
Except for the very end of this sequence, when Noah makes sure to stay in contact with Chandler as he fights to get away, this one seemed to be 100 percent initiated by Chandler — he’s the one who initiates the shoving down low as both players were fighting for position, and then once Noah was on his back and aggressively trying for the rebound, Chandler appeared to throw an elbow, before leaning his head in close to Noah’s, requiring the two to be separated.
It’s tough to see any reason for suspensions to be handed down following the dust-up, as there were no true punches thrown. Noah could be seen barely attempting to make contact with Chandler with his head, which likely isn’t enough to draw attention from the league office.
Noah said afterward that a suspension would essentially be ridiculous, via Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com:
When asked specifically about a possible suspension, the emotional center seemed incredulous.
“Suspension?” Noah said. “For what? What did I do?”
When asked about the apparent headbutt, Noah responded. “He headbutted me,” Noah said. “Come on guys, I’m trying to play (Saturday), man. I love this game.”
All that will likely come out of this is film to be used by other teams when preparing for the Knicks the rest of the season.
It will be interested to see moving forward if other teams in the league who have the ability to be similarly physical will use those tactics to try to rattle New York, and force that same type of meltdown to occur once again.