The Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha is the kind of player that can get under your skin — he’s long, he’s an aggressive defender who challenges everything, and he can be physical if he needs to be.
Apparently, he had bothered Carmelo Anthony. Sefolosha had been in ‘Melo’s face for chunks of the game, and the two were battling for a rebound in the later part of the second quarter in Atlanta when, as the play moved away, Anthony flung his arm and hit Sefolosha in the head. It was obvious, although it wasn’t clear that the officials saw it at first. There was a quick technical foul called, then a double technical because Sefolosha shoved Anthony back.
Finally, the referees reviewed the play, saw the shot to the head, and Anthony was tossed.
As he should have been — the NBA is cracking down on blows to the face and head, and that unquestionably was one (I wouldn’t call it a punch, but it was a shot). ‘Melo earned the shower. Whether or not it was intentional he was gone — and you can bet the farm after the game Anthony will say it wasn’t.
Anthony left the game with 10 points on nine shots, plus five rebounds.