Author: Dan Feldman

Mike Budenholzer calls contact with referee ‘unacceptable’


Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer bumped referee Ben Taylor in the Hawks’ loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday.

That got Budenholzer ejected and fined.

But once the referees union declared Budenholzer’s punishment too lenient, he – correctly – realized he must do more.

KL Chouinard of

Budenholzer is trying to avoid a feud with NBA referees, who have large power over his team’s success.

I believe NBA officials do a good job overall, but their biggest flaw is their propensity for making their job personal. It’s not. Referees aren’t competing, and there’s no good excuse for them to get into the heated exchanges they do with coaches and players. The latter two groups are trying to win a game, and sometimes, their emotions spill over into their interactions with officials. If coaches and players cross a line, they should be punished, but their passion is understandable. Referees, who don’t get a win or loss, should do a better job keeping cool rather getting caught up in the fervor.

It’s in this environment referees carry out personal grudges. Admittedly, they’ve gotten much better about this since,give or take, about the time Adam Silver became commissioner. But it’s still far from a solved issue.

So, Budenholzer is trying to avoid receiving an unfavorable whistle the rest of the season – referees carrying out their own vigilante justice. Really, Budenholzer might have been better off if the NBA just suspended him for a game. But that didn’t happen.

Now, he’s trying to show as much remorse as possible in hopes it mollifies the officials. It’s an important step – more important than it should be.

Khris Middleton: Andre Drummond dislikes contact

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MILWAUKEE (AP) —Greg Monroe put together a big night against his former team. His new teammates also had a lot of fun.

Monroe had 20 points and 13 rebounds, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 109-88 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

“I am trying to win every game,” Monroe said. “They just happen to be my former team. No matter who comes in here, I going to come in with the same focus. That is do what I need to do to help my team win on that night. They just happen to be the only other team I have played for.”

Milwaukee had seven players score in double figures, including each of its starters. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 points, Khris Middleton scored 16 and Jerryd Bayless had 14 points.

The Bucks had lost three straight and five of six.

Monroe was selected by Detroit with the seventh pick in the 2010 draft and played his first five NBA seasons with the Pistons. But he signed a free-agent deal with Milwaukee in July.

Monroe played a key role as the Bucks grabbed control by outscoring the Pistons 33-22 in the second quarter and 30-14 in the third period. Monroe’s putback lifted Milwaukee to an 88-62 lead heading into the fourth.

It was so bad that Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy ripped into his team before opening the locker room doors.

“Look, we didn’t match up to their intensity and energy,” he said. “If you play like that, you deserve to get blown out.”

Andre Drummond had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit, but appeared to hurt himself late in the second quarter. He walked slowly up the court holding his left side after trying to defend Monroe.

Drummond started the third quarter, but the NBA’s leading rebounder wasn’t the same in the second half. He went 6 for 11 from the field in the first half and 0 for 3 in the second.

“We just tried to be physical,” Middleton said of the Bucks’ plan for Drummond. “We know he doesn’t like contact. Once he misses a couple, he is going to get down on himself and start forcing tough shots. Greg did a great job of just making him shot tough shots and not letting him get to his right hand.”

Van Gundy downplayed any idea of an injury to Drummond.

“Nah, he just got hit,” Van Gundy said. “He’s fine.”

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 17 points for the Pistons, who have dropped six of eight. Stanley Johnson had 16 points and Anthony Tolliver scored a season-high 13.


Pistons: Darrun Hilliard, the 38th overall pick in the 2015 draft, made his Pistons debut at the start of the second quarter. … The Pistons were 3 of 13 from 3-point range in the first half.

Bucks: Michael Carter-Williams and Jabari Parker scored 12 points apiece, and Greivis Vasquez had 10. … The Bucks beat Detroit for the fourth consecutive game.


Pistons: Host Miami on Wednesday night.

Bucks: Host Sacramento on Wednesday night.


Milwaukee guard O.J. Mayo needed seven stitches to close a cut above his right eye.

“Caught an elbow,” he said. “Not a bad play. Things happen. It is all good. I don’t mind getting stitches if we get a W.”


Milwaukee had 30 assists, including eight from Carter-Williams, while Reggie Jackson had seven of Detroit’s 19.


Detroit was 31 of 91 (34.1 percent) from the floor, including a 6-for-28 performance from 3-point range.

Kevin Durant playing against Jazz tonight

Gordon Hayward, Kevin Durant
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When will Kevin Durant return from injury?


This will be no easy re-introduction for Durant. The Jazz have multiple adequate wing defenders – Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Joe Ingles – who can take turns guarding the star forward. And whenever Durant attempts to drive into the paint, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors will greet him.

But the Thunder have high goals, and they’ll have to go through teams like Utah. If Durant is healthy, better start getting used to it now.

Cruel fan leaves Jose Calderon hanging on fist bump (video)

Jose Calderon

Jose Calderon is trying to give back to the Knicks. Young teammates like Kristaps Porzingis and Langston Galloway have credited him as a mentor and role model. Calderon has said he’d be fine coming off the bench (though, to the chagrin of many, Derek Fisher continues to start him).

Calderon’s reward?

This fan – in Oklahoma City after a New York win – leaving Calderon hanging on a fist pound. And it doesn’t look like the first time this has happened.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer fined $25,000 for bumping ref (video)


Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer got kicked out of Atlanta’s loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday.

But wait. There’s more.

NBA release:

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has been fined $25,000 for making incidental contact with a game official during live action, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Budenholzer was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred with 6:27 remaining in the second quarter of Atlanta’s 109-97 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Quicken Loans Arena.

The video is pretty clear. Budenholzer earned this one.