Several Warriors leave bench during altercation/stoppage (video)
Update: No Warriors will receive suspensions, per an NBA spokesperson.
The injury-ravaged Warriors got a satisfying win last night.
But will the game leave them even more short-handed?
Golden State guard Ky Bowman drove for a layup late in the fourth quarter. As he turned to run up court, Bowman collided with Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside, who pushed away Bowman. Whiteside got hit with a technical foul.
The big development: Several Warriors – Jordan Poole, Willie Cauley-Stein, Omari Spellman and Klay Thompson – left the bench while Whiteside and Bowman squared up.
Any player who leaves the bench during an altercation receives a one-game suspension. The hard-and-fast rule is designed to prevent fights from escalating.
Golden State might be off the hook, because there was a stoppage – signaled by the referee on the opposite sideline – as the Whiteside-Bowman confrontation got going. The leaving-the-bench rule doesn’t apply during a timeout.
However, the stoppage was seemingly for a Portland timeout. The NBA’s official play-by-play includes no timeout at that time. If not a Trail Blazers timeout, why did officials stop play for a commercial break? That question might determine whether Warriors get suspended.
Suspensions could create quite the conundrum for Golden State. Teams must have eight players “able to participate” in each game. The Warriors had just nine healthy players last night – including Poole, Cauley-Stein and Spellman. Losing those three would drop Golden State below the limit.
Maybe Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell will return soon from their injuries. But Stephen Curry, Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans, Alen Smailagic and Thompson are out longer-term.
The Warriors are pressed against the hard cap. There’s no easy way to add outside reinforcements.