It was announced early Saturday, Washington’s Kelly Oubre will be suspended for Game 4 of the series against Boston, following an ejection and a foul on Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, drawn during the early part of the second quarter in Game 3.
After being dropped by an illegal screen on the play, with what seemed to be a hard shot above the neck, Oubre raced across the court to shove Olynyk to the floor by burying his forearm in his chest. Oubre was assessed a flagrant 2 and ejected from the game.
Oubre told reporters after practice Friday that he was reacting to multiple hits from the same player:
“I’ve been hit in the head multiple times by the same person,” Oubre said. “I’ve confronted [Olynyk] about it. The last time it happened, I fell, I felt pain in my head and my jaw, and I got up and I ran to him and I bumped him.”
The league confirmed news of the Washington forward’s suspension, stating that the suspension was for “making forceful and unwarranted contact with Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk.” No fine was given to Olynyk for the screen.
The suspension comes as a blow to the Wizards, as their already thin bench has showed inconsistencies during the series, leaving little effective coverage against Isaiah Thomas.
Despite the heated show that occurred Thursday during Game 3, Olynyk denies the accusations flying around that he is a dirty player.
“I don’t think I’m a dirty player,” Olynyk told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Saturday. “My teammates don’t think I’m a dirty player. It’s basketball. It happens. You have to set a screen, you box out, you have to do a lot of things. It’s not something you focus on. You just go out there and play the next game.”
Analysts say the claim against Olynyk is a fair one. The center has been known to set hard screens, and has been particularly physical in the series against Boston. It’s obvious that Olynyk is doing anything he can to get in the head of a few Wizards, and it’s creating his unsavory label, which frankly, has been following him for a few years now. Let’s not forget when Olynyk dislocated Kevin Love’s arm in the playoffs, a couple of seasons ago.
It’s been said that Olynyk could be trying to compensate for a lack of production, and his failure to hit important shots during the postseason; areas that the Celtics will need to improve, in order to advance in the playoffs.
Regardless of what team you side with, the antics, at the very least, provide entertainment usually not found during the regular season. Arguments and heated play should happen during the playoffs, where every game could be the last.
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