No further action is expected from the league office regarding Game 2 flare-ups between the Chicago Bulls and Bucks on Monday night game. No punches were thrown, few shots were made and the ugliest first-round series moves north on Interstate 94 for Game 3 on Thursday night.
Game 2 was a three-point game at the end of the third and a tie game with nine minutes left — before Jimmy Butler (31 points) happened and the Bulls survived, 91-82. Hooked up for audio during the TNT broadcast, Butler at one point went to the bench and told coach Tom Thibodeau, “They can’t guard me, man. They’re too little.”
The Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic had to leave after tweaking his left leg during a scrum for a loose ball in the fourth. Mirotic and Zaza Pachulia ended up on the floor, and Pachulia got his second technical and an automatic ejection for flailing his arms at Mirotic, who gave him a shove but had trouble getting to his feet.
Here’s the rest of the news moving the needle as the playoffs roll on:
Pelicans not done yet: The 67-win Warriors are up 2-0 on New Orleans, but it hasn’t been as easy as most expected. After going 39-2 at home during the regular season and not losing at Oracle since January, the Warriors trailed by two with 4:43 left before Klay Thompson helped them pull away. But after shooting a league-leading 39.8 percent on 3-pointers during the regular season, Golden State is only 20 for 59 (33.9 percent) through the first two games.
As an important note, the average NBA head coach salary of $3.5 million represents 5.6 percent of the current salary cap on player spending. If coaching salaries keep pace, the average could reach $6 million in 2017-18, when the salary cap is projected to soar to $108 million.
The Nuggets and Magic currently are engaged in head coaching searches, and the Thunder reportedly are weighing Scott Brooks’ future and considering former Thunder player and current Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie.
Click here for more information on the latest news on the Cavs and other NBA teams clash during the 2015 Playoffs.
The following is a quick overview at the latest NBA injuries:
Atlanta Hawks: Paul Millsap (shoulder) was able to take part in Tuesday’s practice.
Millsap is dealing with a right shoulder sprain and contusion, but was able to practice without the compression shirt or the pad he has worn in the past two games since his return to the lineup. While he did have kinesiology tape on his shoulder, the lack of compression shirt should be a a good sign as Millsap attempts to get healthy for what the Hawks hope is a long playo
Al Horford (finger) said he will play in Wednesday’s Game 2 against the Nets.
After dislocating his finger in Game 1 on Sunday, Horford left no doubt regarding his status for Game 2. “I’m playing,” Horford said Tuesday. “I’m playing. I feel fine. I practiced today.” Horford said he must still have his pinky and ring fingers taped together and added that the taping affected his shooting in Game 1. We’ll update his status prior to tipoff on Wednesday, but it sounds like owners in daily leagues can safely roster Horford on Wednesday..
Chicago Bulls: Early indications on Nikola Mirotic’s left quad strain are that it is serious, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. While we’re still awaiting updates, it’s sounding like Mirotic could end up missing some time with his left quad strain. The good news for Miro and the Bulls is that he’ll have two days to rest before Thursday’s Game 3, but we’ll be scouring news reports for updates on the situation. If Mirotic is forced to miss time, TaJ Gibson, Jimmy Butler, and Mike Dunleavy would all see a boost in minutes.
Nikola Mirotic (left quad strain) will be reevaluated on Tuesday morning. Mirotic left Monday’s game following multiple scuffles with Zaza Pachulia and is dealing with a swollen left knee and potentially a concussion. “Hopefully it won’t be anything serious,” teammate Pau Gasol said. “I think Zaza had a couple of bad plays, not basketball plays. He got penalized with technicals, but just got to protect players.” Mirotic will have two days to rest up before Game 3 on Thursday, but Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy, and Jimmy Butler would all see a boost in minutes if Miro is unable to play.
Miami Heat: James Ennis said that his primary focus during the offseason will be “getting stronger” and working on his “ball-handling.” Ennis showed some flashes during his rookie season with the Heat, and he ended the regular-season on a high note by putting up his first-career triple-double. If Luol Deng opts out of his contract and leaves Miami during the offseason, Ennis could potentially be looking at a starting role with the Heat. However, there are far too many ifs right now to accurately project Ennis’ value, and with season averages of just 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, he has a long ways to go before entering the standard league equation.
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