In the playoffs, if you pick up seven technical fouls you get suspended for a game.
Lance Stephenson already has three from the first round.
He picked up his third early in the fourth quarter Pacers’ Game 7 win over the Hawks — he didn’t get a call he wanted on the offensive end in a scramble underneath when he tried to go up for a shot, he stared down the referee (Tony Brothers), then as the play moved on and the Pacers put up another shot in the possession Stephenson made an aggressive play on an offensive rebound, knocked over a Hawks player and got instantly T’d up.
“I was trying to hit the ball out of his hands to get it to George Hill but the ref probably thought I was trying to smack him or something,” he explained. “I don’t know. I don’t think I deserved a tech though.”
Coach Frank Vogel had Stephenson’s back.
“I haven’t talked to Larry [Bird] and Kevin [Pritchard],” Vogel said. “I think we should (appeal it). I think the officials did the right thing trying to just make sure that everybody stays under control. After looking at it, I don’t know if a technical is warranted.”
The Pacers need Stephenson to be Stephenson — playing hard, aggressive, emotional basketball. Indiana is trying to right its ship and will find the Wizards a tough (if more traditional) matchup to do that, they need the best of Stephenson, not a guy thinking about not getting another technical. That is particularly true if the Pacers can advance past this round to a very likely waiting Miami Heat.
A reversal here would help, but I’m not sure if they’ll get it.