UPDATE: 12/18/13, 7:40 p.m. ET: Well, looks like I was wrong about this getting a pass from the league office — the NBA brought the hammer down on Wednesday:
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) December 18, 2013
Hamilton will miss the Nuggets' Friday night matchup with the Phoenix Suns. We can only hope Adams will be able to manage the pain in his shoulder and suit up for the Thunder's Thursday night contest against the Chicago Bulls.
Denver Nuggets forward Jordan Hamilton was ejected early in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder after receiving a flagrant foul-2 for swinging his arm and hitting OKC center Steven Adams.
The play took place less than a minute into the final frame, with the Thunder leading by 10 points and having the ball after Oklahoma City reserve Jeremy Lamb rebounded a miss by Nuggets guard Evan Fournier:
After the miss and the rebound, Lamb began to dribble up court on the right wing. Hamilton pursued as Lamb exited the paint, only to be met with Adams' back, as the Thunder center held up and bumped the Texas product off course. Hamilton didn't seem to appreciate that, and swung his right arm toward Adams' shoulder. (Adams must have one of those faces, man.)
As Daily Thunder's Royce Young noted, the New Zealand-born big man "completely ignored it." The referees, however, did not, whistling Hamilton for a flagrant foul; upon further review of the swinging motion, they upgraded it to a flagrant-2 for "unnecessary and excessive" contact, which carries with it an automatic ejection and a fine of no less than $2,000, but "not exceeding $50,000 and/or suspension by the Commissioner."
It seems unlikely that we'll get to suspension on a not-exactly-vicious play that caused the Nuggets' announce team to use phrases like, "Well, that's not much," "It appeared to be punch-like," "I guess, by the letter of the rule ..." and "Some plays look more like a flagrant action than others, of course." Anything's possible, though, I suppose. The lesson, as always: Just take a deep breath, count to 10 and run back on defense, gang.
Hamilton finished with four points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in 16 minutes, while Adams had just one point (splitting his two post-flagrant free throws) and two rebounds in nine minutes in Oklahoma City's 105-93 win over Denver. Kevin Durant (30 points on 11 for 23 shooting, six rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Russell Westbrook (21 points on 9 for 16 shooting, 13 rebounds, eight assists, eight turnovers) led the way for the 20-4 Thunder, while J.J. Hickson (20 points, 14 rebounds) and Ty Lawson (17 points, 13 assists, four steals) paced the Nuggets, who have now dropped four of their last seven to follow the seven-game winning streak that righted the ship after a sluggish start.
Original video via frank den.
- - - - - - -