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.
Spurs demolish Thunder to take Game 1 of second-round series
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
Hawks get another playoff shot at King James and Cavaliers
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
ESPN sources say the Warriors, meanwhile, plan to go outside the organization at season's end for a replacement to add to the current staff.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
Luke Walton's contract to coach the Lakers will be for five years and about $25 million.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.