Trans. May 18 3:05 ET (May 18 3:05 ET ) In the NBA playoffs, games often reach a new level of competitiveness. Unfortunately, that same passion can often turn dangerous.
With a little under 9:30 remaining in the fourth quarter of the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and host Indiana Pacers, reserve guard C.J. Watson sped in transition to get a scoring opportunity at the rim. Heat point guard Mario Chalmers met Watson and fouled him to stop a lay-up. However, Chalmers didn't stop there. After the initial whistle, he pushed Watson as the Pacers guard left his feet. Losing his balance, Watson fell towards the baseline, slid through the cameramen, and hit the press table several feet past the court. Take a look below:
Watson took a few moments to get up but eventually did and managed to stay in the game to shoot his free throws. Referees initially called a common foul for the first infraction and a technical foul for excessive contact, but the latter was changed to a flagrant-1 foul after replay review. Under NBA rules, Watson had four free-throw attempts to make three shots. He ended up not needing the fourth try.
Chalmers was pretty clearly deserving of the flagrant — the question is now if he will also receive a suspension for Game 2 for his actions. It's difficult to predict the league office's decision, but losing Chalmers would be a blow to the Heat's hopes of stealing a road win before heading home to Miami for Games 3 and 4. At the same time, this play probably wouldn't have looked so dangerous if the NBA didn't insist on placing cameras and tables so close to the action.
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C.J. Watson managed nine points and two assists in 15 minutes during the Pacers Game 1 loss against the Wizards.
The Scoop:Watson has been dealing with a hip pointer issue since Game 6 of the first round against the Hawks, which may explain his limited minutes. Still, he was one of few to have a decent shooting night in Game 1's blowout loss, and may be in line for more playing time as Indiana looks to even the series on Wednesday.
The Scoop:He and fellow point guard George Hill both have hip pointers, but both are expected to be fine for Thursday's Game 6. The Pacers have used more two-PG sets in the playoffs and Watson has been effective in his 22.2 minutes per game, headlined by his 53.3 percent from beyond the arc. He'll continue to be the main backcourt scoring piece in the second unit.
The Scoop:With the way C.J. Watson has performed this postseason, Frank Vogel said to expect "a lot more" two point guard lineups. Watson is not scoring at huge rate, but his accuracy from beyond the arc, 4-of-6 this series, spaces the floor well and creates driving lanes for George Hill. Hill had his best game of the series in Tuesday's win, scoring 15 points in 33 minutes. With Vogel committed to a two point guard look, Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson may see a decrease in minutes.
The Scoop:With the first seed in the East locked up, the Pacers are just trying to give their key players some rest while hoping to reclaim the elusive chemistry that abandoned them after the All-Star break. After shooting a mere 37.2 percent from the field in March, George is still stuck at 40.2 percent in April.