After converting a shot in the lane and drawing a foul call on Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer was excited. So excited, in fact, that he failed to notice referee Danny Crawford standing right next to him.
Boozer went for the celebratory fist pump, which ended up accidentally punching Crawford squarely below the belt.
Thankfully Crawford was fine, and laughed it off immediately afterward. Boozer obviously didn’t mean to do it, but you have to wonder if a less seasoned official may have written the play off as quickly.
Crawford, who has been in the league as an official since the 1984-85 season, has enough experience to know how to handle an unintentional play like this.
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.