2. Hill’s move was completely bush-league, but Davis isn’t blameless
Part of me wants to applaud Brooklyn Nets backup center Ed Davis’ decision to defend his huddle during a late timeout Friday night. The Nets haven’t always been the toughest team in the league and it was nice to — for a change — see someone show some of that grit.
But the timing was awful and Davis made the mistake of initiating contact during a dead-ball situation, something that will almost always be interpreted as a “hostile act” under the NBA’s broader interpretation of that term this season.
It changed the dynamics of what Brooklyn needed to do on the inbounds play with two seasons left, dynamics that became moot when Joe Harris thought he could throw a little light lob over the six-mile wingspan of Anthony Davis.
Instead of needing just two to win/take the lead, the Nets were forced into the situation of needing two to tie/potentially force overtime or three to win/take the lead.
It appeared coach Kenny Atkinson was playing the odds by the book — play for a tie at home and a win on the road — and Harris was looking for someone to get free outside the 3-point line.
That didn’t happen, the Nets turned the ball over for the 21st time in the game and the Pelicans escaped to remain unbeaten.
Davis is in his ninth NBA season and has brought an edge to Brooklyn, no question. But once he initiated contact with Hill, he gave Hill — who pulled off a Manu Ginobili-esque embellishment of the contact — the upper hand and Hill made it work.
It was a bizarre sideshow in an end-game sequence that revolved around the Nets simply imploding mentally.