Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 in the third quarter of the Thunder’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, and Anthony is still confused about how things went down.
“I don’t have no thoughts,” Anthony said after the game (h/t ESPN). “I don’t have anything to say about that play. I think the league will do what’s right.”
Anthony was ejected following a review of an and-1 layup that he converted over Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic after Anthony made contact with Nurkic’s chin with his elbow during his conversion.
“I’ve never seen in the history of the game a guy get an and-1 play and then get ejected from the game,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said of the ejection. “That’s probably something you’ve got to talk to the league about.”
The refs stood by their decision, even though the definition of the rule and what everyone saw transpire on the court didn’t exactly match-up.
“We deemed that the contact was excessive and that it was not a natural basketball move, where he seeks out Nurkic, hits him in the face with an elbow and goes back to the basket,” crew chief Rodney Mott said.
“So because it’s unnatural and it’s deemed excessive, therefore it is a flagrant foul penalty 2.”
“It’s nonsense, man,” Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said of Anthony’s ejection. “It don’t make any sense.”
“I thought that play should’ve been reviewed,” Donovan said. “It may have proven nothing, but I think when someone gets hit in the face and goes down to the floor and you’ve got to call timeout, you should at least review it, just to make sure. I don’t know why they reviewed the other one.
“I probably didn’t ask Russell to stay down on the court long enough to get it reviewed.”
Anthony was hit with his first technical of the game for arguing with the refs after Westbrook was on the receiving end of a hit.
“I didn’t say anything wrong. I think there was just a lot of hostility tonight,” Anthony said. “I didn’t use any profanity. I didn’t yell. Actually, I think I had a smile on my face. I don’t know. I wanted them to just officiate the game the right way, whether it was going with us or going with them — just officiate the game the right way, that was my point. Make it even, make it right, but officiate the game the right way.”
Westbrook was critical of the refs after being hit with a flagrant 1 on Friday against the Boston Celtics.
“I got hit in the face. They didn’t review it as they should,” Westbrook said. “I just think that when it’s us, our team, myself, they don’t do the same thing they do. Last game, tipped ball, against Celtics, I accidentally hit the guy in the face. Flagrant foul on me. It was an accident, but I hit him. I actually got hit in the face today. Nobody looks at it. Melo goes, hits Nurkic. They go review. It’s a bunch of bulls—.”
“I just think they don’t referee the same way all the time,” Westbrook continued.
“They pick and choose when they want to do it, which is not fair, in my opinion. I’ve been in this league for a while, and I’m able to see it and understand it and see what’s right or what’s wrong, but I can see it’s blatant, s— that’s not getting looked at, in my opinion. Get hit, you need to look at it. You look at everything else, you need to take a look at it.”
Donovan pointed to foul shot differential when continuing the discussion about the officiating.
“What’s more concerning to me is our opponents have gotten to the free throw line 50 more times than we have,” Donovan said.
“And we’ve got a player in Russell who clearly, historically in this league, has gotten to the free throw line as much or if not more than anybody else in this league.”
“We haven’t been getting the benefit. Every night, we haven’t been getting the benefit of the doubt,” Thunder forward Paul George said.
“I don’t know what it is, especially for Russ. He attacks the basket, and so many of his plays at the rim are questionable, and he’s not getting the benefit of the doubt.”
Blazers’ Damian Lillard Discusses Game Winning Shot
In the ultimate last work towards the trash talking Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard hit a ridiculous, buzzer-beating 3-point shot to eliminate the Thunder on Tuesday.
The shot will live on for an eternity and Lillard took time to discuss the dagger that sent the talking Russell Westbrook and his team packing.
“I was blanking out,” Lillard said, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. “I was having my own thoughts. I was … angry. Not that type of anger like I was mad, but anger like I was in a rage.”
Thunder’s Billy Donovan defends Paul George for End of Game Dunk
Oklahoma City Thunder forward, and MVP candidate, Paul George ruffled the feathers of the Portland Trail Blazers for opting to dunk the ball as opposed to dribbling out the clock in their Game 3 victory.
While George made no friends with the Blazers, who visibly took issue with the dunk, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan had no issue with what took place.
“My feeling was they probably shot a shot,” Donovan said, according to Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “Paul kind of went in and dunked it. Both teams played the game all the way out.”
George declined to comment on the dunk in the post-game presser.
Thunder’s Markieff Morris Taking Time with New Team
Oklahoma City Thunder newly signed forward Markieff Morris has played just 3 games with his new team after being signed back on February 20th, and is taking his time with getting acclimated with the Thunder.
“For me, you just want to be a help to the team,” Morris said, according to Maddie Lee of the Oklahoman.
“You don’t want to come in and force things. You want everything to go smooth, how they went before you got here. So for me just getting acclimated to the offense and defense, playing with the guys.”
Morris began the season with the Washington Wizards.
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