Kevin McHale bothers Tim Duncan’s inbound pass, Gregg Popovich gets T’d up complaining about it (VIDEO)

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Near the end of the first half of the Rockets’ win over the Spurs on Saturday, we were treated to a bit of coaching shenanigans courtesy of Houston’s Kevin McHale.

Tim Duncan is set to inbound the ball in front of the Rockets’ bench, and McHale is standing to Duncan’s right on the sideline — the same side of the floor where the Spurs’ big man will be attempting to throw his pass.

Duncan is explaining how wrong this seems to the official, which is why he lets the ball roll away instead of catching it when the referee bounces it to him. McHale briefly retreats to Duncan’s other side, before the official apparently explained that McHale, being within the designated coaching box area, was well within his rights to stand where he was.

McHale walked back in front of Duncan to his right, and Duncan delivered the pass on target to Manu Ginobili without incident.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was livid with McHale’s maneuver, however, and let the referees hear about at as he headed to the locker room. Popovich was then whistled for a technical foul for his outburst.

This is nothing compared to what Jason Kidd pulled off earlier this week with his drink-spilling incident, obviously. But it’s your latest reminder that these former Hall of Fame level players who are now head coaches have a competitive fire so intense that they will do seemingly anything to gain even the smallest of advantages.

Final minute of Celtics-Wizards featured five-possession, 10-point, no-stoppage stretch (video)

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Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.

It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.

The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).

After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.

More games should be like this.

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)

Pacers star Victor Oladipo returns from 11-game absence

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When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.

But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.

Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.

I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.