Late in the third quarter of a tight game between the Bulls and the Pacers on Saturday, Lance Stephenson got ahead of the pack on a fast break.
Nate Robinson, wanting to make Stephenson earn those points at the free throw line as opposed to getting an uncontested dunk, caught up with him, and grabbed him from behind with both hands around the shoulders and neck area, causing Stephenson to fall awkwardly to the ground.
The right call was made by the officials; the play (seen at about the 30-second mark in the video clip above) was ruled a flagrant-two foul, and Robinson was ejected from the game.
The league should really make this a point of emphasis with its teams, because saving two points isn’t worth risking the health of a player over multiple games. While Robinson’s intent was likely only to prevent the easy bucket, the play he made was a dangerous one.
Zach LaVine on meeting with Bulls coach Jim Boylen: ‘This is a business. This isn’t a dictatorship’
Tension between new Bulls coach Jim Boylen and his players boiled over Sunday. When Boylen called for a practice the day after a back-to-back, some players threatened to boycott. They ultimately compromised on a team meeting.
“We had a situation over the weekend that could have been handled by a leadership group walking into my office and saying, ‘You know what, Coach? This is how we feel today. What do you think?’ That was the teaching moment,” Boylen said. “I’m juiced, man. I’m jacked up about it.”
A leadership committee sounds like the type of thing college teams have – which makes sense, because Boylen is treating the Bulls like a college team. Frequent and long practices. Harsh public criticism. Five-man substitutions. These are not normal power dynamics in the NBA.
Chicago players are already running thin on patience for Boylen. But he has plenty of job security. So, hopefully for everyone involved, he has learned as much as he indicates. He can’t keep coaching like this without inciting a mutiny.
Tristan Thompson has been one of the biggest bright spots in an otherwise miserable Cavaliers season. The center is averaging 12.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He has also taken on more leadership.
Bamba, who was suspended for a game for being late for the team walk-through at the hotel in Dallas on Monday
“It was a violation of team rules,” Clifford said. “It’s just a one-game thing. Mo will play again on Thursday, but that’s what it was.”
“It’s just bad on my part and I just need to be better … just gotta be on time,” Bamba said. “It’s very difficult because you want to be out there and impact the game in any way possible and hope for a different outcome.”
I doubt Magic coach Steve Clifford suspended Bamba for a single instance of tardiness. This was likely a culmination.
Orlando (12-15) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, in the thick of the playoff race. If the Magic are going to take advantage of the low bar for making the postseason, they need all hands on deck – including Bamba.
Lonzo Ball bypasses open layup for no-look backward bounce pass, leaves Luke Walton staring into abyss
Lonzo Ball missed a layup early last night. That might have made him overthink later, when he was ahead of the pack on another fastbreak. Instead of shooting the open layup, Ball bounced the ball behind him without looking, leading to a turnover and open Heat 3-pointer.
On the bright side for the Lakers, they still beat Miami.
On the bright side for us, we got this great Luke Walton reaction GIF: