In Hollywood, they call that chewing up the scenery.
Memphis guard Tony Allen has been fined $5,000 by the league for his overacting — technically violating the league’s anti-flopping policy — on that play.
Make no mistake, Manu Ginobili fouled Allen hard on this crucial late-game play — the Grizzlies were down four with :26 seconds left (Allen hit the free throws and then Memphis got the ball out of bounds and Mike Conley tied the game on that possession). We can debate whether or not that is a flagrant — I think it’s a hard foul but if you want to say he knocked an airborne player off balance putting him in danger and that should be a flagrant, you can make a good case.
What is not up for debate is that Allen didn’t hit his head on the floor but sold this call big time. He grabbed his head like he landed on it. Which he clearly does not. It was overacting that really only William Shatner can appreciate.
Did that impact the referees decision in saying it was a flagrant? I don’t know. But I do know at this stage of the playoffs there are plenty of players willing to risk a $5,000 fine from the league to make sure they get a crucial late game call.
Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break
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.
Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)