In what ended up being an unprecedentedly stupid game, Jimmy Butler was ejected after a quick scuffle with washed-up Clipper Avery Bradley.
How was this game stupid? Allow me to break down all of the moronic nonsense that went on during the late stage of this game. Butler was ejected with 7 minutes remaining in the 4th, and in the time following that:
- The Sixers did not shoot a free throw until an intentional foul under 2 minutes left (they hadn’t shot any all quarter prior to the ejection, despite about 5 Embiid double teams, but whatever)
- The team went on a 4 minute-long scoring drought
- Ben Simmons went 0-2 at the line, but a lane violation from Gallinari gave him a third shot, which he also missed
- The rebound on the third miss was miraculously recovered and TJ McConnell was fouled, and he only went 1-2 at the line
- Montrezl Harrell went 0-2 at the line when down only 5
On top of the fact that Butler and Bradley getting ejected probably shouldn’t have happened, the fact that the Clippers shot double-digit free throws in the 4th quarter, while the most foul-able player on the court (and the whole rest of his team) took 0, is pretty suspect.
A simple double technical would have sufficed for the Butler scuffle, and while I understand the bad optics of Butler’s hands on Bradley’s neck, that was clearly not his intention. Not to mention, Bradley was clearly the one causing the confrontation after the made 3-pointer from Mike Muscala. If Jimmy Butler wanted to choke out Avery Bradley, he would have done it.
Opinions on the officiating late in the game aside, this game was objectively bad basketball. The Sixers shouldn’t have blown their lead in the first place, and the Clippers had all the chances necessary to take over, and still failed.
Even so, the Sixers’ bench had an abnormally good game, especially from Jonah Bolden with a 3 and a power dunk, as well as an overdue good night from 3 for JJ Redick.