Early in the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ second consecutive blowout win over the Pistons on Saturday, Will Bynum was caught on a screen from Tyler Hansbrough.
Bynum either didn’t appreciate the contact, or the fact that Hansbrough continued to illegally move once the contact was made, and gave him a little shot to the midsection.
The referee was on top of it, and immediately called Bynum for the flagrant-two foul, resulting in an automatic ejection.
The frustration is somewhat understandable, considering how inferior the Pistons are to the Pacers right now, and that they were down 20 in the fourth quarter after losing by 32 in Indiana just the night before. And, Hansbrough isn’t known to be the cleanest of players out there, so it’s possible that over the course of these two games, Bynum had gotten tangled up with him multiple times, and this was just the final straw.
“It wasn’t (done) intentionally but it kind of happened through the course of the game,” Bynum said in the empty Pistons locker room. “The game was kind of physical. It was during the heat of the moment.
“It was nothing intentional, though.”
That’ll obviously be up to the league to decide, but you can’t punch guys, no matter the circumstances. It’s more than possible that Bynum will be suspended a game for his actions.
Report: Luke Walton not leaving Warriors before their season ends
This shouldn’t be a surprise, and it is the right thing to do for Walton — shows of loyalty to your current employer and players should raise his stock in the eyes of those trying to hire him.
We may ultimately see with Walton what we saw with Alvin Gentry a year ago; he took the job with New Orleans while the Warriors were still on their championship run, but continued to coach the team through the Finals.
It’s fair to ask if Walton is being over-hyped. He did a fantastic job with the Warriors to start this season, but that was an already built team playing the same system with mostly the same players as the season before. He just had to not fall off the horse, it was going to run plenty fast. Coaching up the kinds of troubled teams we see on that list above is a different challenge entirely. Walton may be up for it, he’s certainly earned the chance, but it’s fair to ask if he’s ready for that step.
PBT Podcast: Derek Fisher fired, plus your trade questions from Twitter
In this latest podcast, NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman discuss the odd timing of that move — we expect another shoe to drop as to why. It’s not that Fisher was a great coach, but replacing him with Kurt Rambis mid-season is not an upgrade. And Luke Walton isn’t available until this summer.
After struggling to figure out what the Knicks are thinking, Helin and Feldman answer questions off Twitter from readers/listeners on the coming trade deadline including discussions of Blake Griffin, Jeff Teague, the Pistons, the Jazz, the Knicks, and more.
Festus Ezeli has been a rock-solid backup for the Warriors this season, playing almost 18 minutes a night behind Andrew Bogut giving the team 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds a contest. Golden State’s defense is 3.6 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court, and he’s part of the team’s long-term plans.
But he’s going to be out for a while now following knee surgery, the team announced and as reported by Monte Poole at CSNBayArea.com.
The surgery is exploratory, which is why the Warriors say there is no timeline for recovery yet.
The surgery is on his left knee; it was his right one that had reconstructive surgery and forced him to miss all of two seasons ago.
This is a blow to the Warriors’ depth, but little has slowed their march this season. More Mo Speights is not ideal, but the Warriors can just go small more often and run teams out of the building that way.
Ezeli is a restricted free agent this summer and the Warriors would like to keep him on the roster and expand his role, particularly if they do not retain Andrew Bogut. The severity of this knee injury could impact Ezeli’s ability to earn a big contract this summer, but hopefully for him, it’s not that serious.
Russell Westbrook stands behind Kevin Durant, mimics him during interview (video)