Zaza Pachulia was hot. Too hot.
On a shot late in the third quarter, the Pistons’ big man thought he was fouled by the Raptors Pascal Siakam, a push that allowed Marc Gasol to block the shot. Both Pachulia and Blake Griffin, pushed by Kyle Lowry, ended up on the ground. There was no call. Pachulia was yelling at a referee, appeared to bump the official to the eyes our own Dan Feldman who was in the building (although the video does not confirm that), and quickly got ejected.
Everyone knew what was coming next: Pachulia has been fined $25,000 by the league for “confronting and verbally abusing a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner upon his ejection.”
The Pistons went on to win the game in overtime. Detroit has won 9-of-11 and moved into the six seed in the East. Not that any of that impresses Blake Griffin.
DETROIT – While shooting, Pistons center Zaza Pachulia got bumped by Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, allowing Marc Gasol to block the shot. Kyle Lowry then pushed down Blake Griffin to get the rebound.
How mad was Pachulia?
He was so mad, he was madder than Griffin, a notorious complainer.
Pachulia heatedly argued with a referee, bumped him and got ejected from Detroit’s win over Toronto yesterday.
Neither telecast showed a great view of the bump, but the above video shows just as it was ending. My prediction: The NBA publishes a better angle while announcing a one-game suspension for Pachulia.
Blake Griffin played excellently in the Pistons’ 129-123 win over the Timberwolves last night. He scored 34 points. Detroit outscored Minnesota by 15 points in his 42 minutes and got outscored by nine points in the 11 minutes he sat.
Yet, even in a one-possession game late in overtime, a Minnesota fan broke Griffin’s focus on the game.
Griffin approached the fan and yelled at him. Zaza Pachulia held back Griffin. The fan got ejected. The Pistons finished off the win. Everything went smoothly enough, but I wonder what the fan said to get so deeply under Griffin’s skin at that point of the game.
Markelle Fultz remains away from the 76ers, getting treatment for his Thoracic Outlet Syndrome while the rest of his teammates try to adjust to playing with Jimmy Butler (which is going better for some than others).
The sense around the league is the Sixers still plan to trade Fultz, they’re just waiting for better offers to come in, the first round was very lowball.
A few teams are kicking the tires on a trade, and among them are the Pistons, reports Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
Let’s be clear, nothing is close on any Sixers trade of Fultz right now. Teams are just testing the waters.
It’s an interesting idea for Detroit, the chance to add a player who was a high draft pick — but only if they think he’s healthy and can get over his mental hurdles (his agent said there aren’t any, it’s all physical, and most of the league laughed at that). Also, the sides need to find a trade that works. Fultz, as a No. 1 pick, is not cheap, he makes $8.3 million this season and is guaranteed $9.7 next season, then $12.3 million the season after that (unless whatever team has his rights and just cuts bait on that last season).
The Pistons are flirting with the luxury tax line right now, their $123.3 million payroll is just about $500,000 below the tax line, so Detroit will not be taking on any salary in any potential trade. They also sent out last year’s first-round pick in the Blake Griffin trade, so they can’t trade this year’s, and likely would not include a pick anyway. A deal centered around Ish Smith or Langston Galloway plus Zaza Pachulia works (after Dec. 15 when Pachulia becomes available to trade). Both provide guard depth and Galloway offers Philly some shooting (34.9 percent taking 65 percent of his shots from three this season). Reggie Bullock also could be part of a trade.
There are options. Right now the Pistons are among the teams kicking the tires on a trade, but we are a long way from it actually happening.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Warriors center Damian Jones underwent surgery for a torn left pectoral muscle.
Golden State said Friday that Jones had the procedure Wednesday in Chicago, performed by Dr. Benjamin Domb. Jones is expected to begin the rehab process in six weeks with a timetable to be determined based on his progress.
Jones, a third-year pro out of Vanderbilt who developed in the G League last season to emerge as the starter for the two-time defending NBA champions, was injured Saturday at Detroit.
The 23-year-old Jones started in 22 of his 24 games, averaging 5.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.1 minutes. Golden State had an opening at center following the offseason departures of JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West.