With Miami up 30-plus points on Indiana in the 4th quarter, both coaches had already emptied their benches. Lance Stephenson, noted choke signaler, was on the court. So was seldom used Miami center Dexter Pittman, who decided to use his precious court time to send a message – that Lance Stephenson shouldn’t speak, literally. So he clotheslined him with a shot to the vocal chords.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for a little extra-curricular activity in the NBA playoffs. I’ll even commend Udonis Haslem’s instinct to defend his teammate, even if it crossed the line and may have earned him a one-game suspension. But this right here, it’s just stupid. The Lance Stephenson/LeBron James controversy was over. We had already graduated to whining incessantly about Danny Granger’s puffed-out chest and LeBron’s indifferent rebuttal. But now we’ll be subject to feverish and inconsequential debate for the next few days as this storyline possibly overtakes what has been, to this point, a captivating playoff series.