Steve Kerr addresses Mavericks bench players who get too close to the field
The NBA attempted to send two messages to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 NBA Playoffs regarding the “decorum” of their players who are not currently in a game: stop stepping away from the bench and stop encroaching on the ground.
These messages came in the form of two separate fines, one for $25,000 on May 6 after their Game 2 loss to the Phoenix Suns and the second for $50,000 on May 18 following Dallas’ Game 7 win over the Suns.
It looks like the Mavericks aren’t heeding those warnings, as the problem seems to reappear in the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.
During the Warriors’ Game 2 win Friday night at Chase Center, there were a few instances where Mavericks players could have stood too close to the field.
During the second half, Steph Curry tried to pass in the corner but threw it in the direction of injured Mavericks player Tim Hardaway Jr., who was wearing a white shirt. It’s conceivable that Curry thought Hardaway was a white jersey teammate.
Later, Jordan Poole attempted a 3-pointer past the Mavericks bench and nearly landed on the feet of players standing on the sideline.
Then there’s Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who slotted into the team bench and was inches off the court in Game 2.
As the second round playoff moved to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked about it on Saturday.
“I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t interfere with the game,” Kerr told reporters on a video conference call. “I don’t mind. I like that the Dallas bench is energetic and talks trash and into it. I think that’s what the fans want to see. They want to see a team that cares about him and they want to see energy and chemistry. So I love that, but when it interferes with the game, that’s where it crosses the line.
“So I think that’s the only thing that concerns me, if there’s a game that… if there’s a person on the pitch, a person who gets up and asks for the ball, that’s is a little too much. But otherwise, I really like it. I think it’s great.
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Cuban isn’t usually worried about the NBA fining him or his team, so he probably won’t mind if the league slaps the Mavericks with a third fine in the Conference Finals.
If that becomes a problem in the next two games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the league may need to step up its punishment.
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