C.J. Watson received a warning under the NBA’s anti-flopping policy for a play that occurred Wednesday night in the Nets’ win over the Timberwolves, the league announced on Thursday.
While the flop itself was egregious and certainly deserving of punishment, the fact that it came against J.J. Barea — along with Watson’s comments about it afterward — were likely the reason the league responded so swiftly.
Barea is on the league’s radar for his reputation as a flopper, and has already been fined for twice feigning contact on defensive plays this season. Watson addressed the play after the game, and essentially said that it was nice to see Barea on the wrong end of one of those calls for a change.
“He’s a flopping guy, so I tried to give him a little dose of his own medicine,” Watson said in a postgame interview. “It worked tonight. Hopefully I don’t get fined, though.”
No fine, but those remarks undoubtedly helped Watson get the official warning. As long as he stays clean (and quiet) the rest of the season, he won’t lose any money over it — the fines begin with the second offense, and increase for every offense thereafter.
TNT to cover NBA games with only former players, no traditional play-by-play men
Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star break.
Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.
The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.