He may be on his way to the All-Star Game as a reserve (that’s not set in stone but it seems likely, more on that later in the week) but Lance Stephenson is still drawing the ire of the league.
Indiana’s Stephenson was fined $5,000 by the league on Tuesday for flopping — it was his second violation of the season, so he gets a slap on the wrist fine. Here is the incident in question: Notice Klay Thompson tries to put a body on him to keep him out of the play, and Stephenson goes down like there was a sniper in the luxury boxes. The referees were not buying it, there was no call (the refs let the Pacers and Warriors get playoff game physical).
Stephenson’s first flop warning from the league came from a play against Kyle Lowry of the Raptors earlier in the season.
Stephenson becomes the third player to be fined by the league this season, joining James Harden and Corey Brewer. If the league determines any of them flop again, they get a $10,000 fine. There have been 18 other players warned by the league who have not had a second offense and drawn a fine yet.
These little fines are not going to deter any players from doing this if they think they can draw a call, especially in the playoffs or bigger games.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.