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How Nazr Mohammed’s ejection for shoving LeBron sunk the Bulls

May 11, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

LeBron James saw his altercation with Nazr Mohammed the same way many of us did. LeBron, via Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

“If I get kicked out and Nazr Mohammed gets kicked out at the same time, who wins?”

LeBron is obviously right. If both players had been ejected, that would have played into the Bulls’ favor.

But only Mohammed was ejected, and that hurt Chicago, which was forced to adjust its rotation without its backup center.

Joakim Noah averaged 35:31 of playing time in the series’ first two games. With Mohammed gone for most of Game 3, Noah played 42:22 last night – an extra 6:51.

That might just be too much for him.

In Noah’s final 6:51 of play, the Bulls were outscored by 12 points in what ended as a 10-point loss.

In that span Noah committed four fouls, and though one was intentional late, the other three came from poor, sloppy decisions to pursue rebounds that were already going to the Heat. Noah also grabbed only one rebound in that time and seemed a half step slow to hit the right spots defensively.

By no means was Noah bad – he made both his shots – but he wasn’t at quite the level he’d been earlier in the series.

The Bulls have been slightly better both offensively and defensively in this series with Mohammed on the court. He played just 11:26 per game in the first two contests, but those backup minutes were enough to rest Noah.

A few extra minutes from Mohammed and a little more rest for Noah probably wouldn’t have given the Bulls a win last night. But it might have.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 11, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    “If you come at The King, you best not miss” Omar Little

    You missed

    • cantonbound13 - May 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Do you help Kurt write these posts? You’re always the first to comment, amazing. I must give you credit, you are a true Heat fan. Good or bad you are either the first or one of the firsts to post something.
      This doesn’t mean I like you, though.

    • WatchThis - May 11, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      If Lebron would have calmly got up and stared at him….he still would’ve gotten a double-tech.

    • ProBasketballPundit - May 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      Oh sh**, it’s Omar!

      • melkipershero - May 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        *drops stash from window*

    • leahcima1 - May 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Just curious 1972wasalongtimeago do you really care if cantonbound13 likes you? doubt it.

  2. cantonbound13 - May 11, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Mohammed pushed LeBron? Stern considers this an act of terror.

    • jimmymarlinsfan - May 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      Please just stop

  3. rickyspanish - May 11, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Rip and run.

  4. dirk504 - May 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Lebron flopped like a WWE pro.

    • melkipershero - May 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      People still watch WWE? I would say flopping started with soccer.

      Flop or not you cant push someone like that in basketball. Dudes gotta be smarter than that.

  5. dgbk - May 11, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    “Let me get a pack of Newport, soft pack……….”
    Too soon guys?

  6. jhuck92 - May 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    A double ejection isn’t about who wins. It should be about handing out the appropriate punishment. So I guess whatever LeBron says goes, huh? I swear, PBT as a whole looks down on the Bulls like an unloved stepchild compared to the straight A student in the Heat.

    • Kevin S. - May 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Way to miss the point.

    • melkipershero - May 11, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Lebron probably didnt deserve the T but it wasnt a terrible call. Dude tried to tackle him so Lebron got him off. Anyway if Lebron gets ejected the Bulls win unless its Noah also getting ejected.

  7. jhuck92 - May 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    At any rate, guess who’s not getting a contract extension this summer

  8. borderline1988 - May 11, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    I thought it was handled pretty well by the officials.

    Mohammed’s initial foul was unnecessary…he clearly hacked at Lebron in an agressive manner before wrapping him up, that’s a cheap shot and everyone knows it. But the officials initially let it slide b/c it’s playoff basketball.

    Lebron sort of pushed Mohammed off a bit after the cheapshot. It wasn’t a rough play, just basically ‘get off me’ type of thing. He got a technical for it, which may have been a bit much..these are professional basketball players, not 10 year-olds.

    Then Mohammed upped the whole thing by giving Lebron a hard push when Lebron was trying to make his case to the officials. It’s hard to tell whether Lebron flopped…normally Lebron wouldn’t go down from that type of push but he wasn’t expecting it so it may have caught him off-guard. We can all have our opinions, but no one really knows besides Lebron.

    And then Mohammed got ejected. That’s not an over-reaction…the guy was playing thug basketball..he’s a backup centre trying to instigate a fight with the league MVP. He knows that his worth to the Bulls is 1/1000th of what Lebron is worth to the Heat, so he’s thinking “why not try to start something with Lebron, the potential gain definitely trumps the risks”.

    Perhaps the refs could’ve just kept Mohammed in the game, but the Heat were going to win this game nonetheless. To argue that the Bulls would have won b/c Noah could have gotten 4 minutes more of rest is preposterous.

    • melkipershero - May 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      I dont think hes even 1/1000th of Lebrons worth. 1/1,000,000 maybe.

  9. jjones314 - May 11, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    When it’s Miami, people always need an excuse for why the Heat won the game. Blaming LBJ for a guy losing his cool and trying to be tough is idiotic at best.

    Bulls lost bottom-line. Miami played better and re-gained the home court.

    People need to let it go. LBJ has a ring, he was the Finals MVP last year and it is what it is. Just accept it already and move on.

  10. gmsingh - May 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    With the number of Bulls players that Thibs wants to play so depleted you can’t have anyone kicked out of the game or it will kill their chances to win that game. Nazr is a veteran, and should no better. However, the point that gets missed here is that the Heat have been the dirty players here, not the Bulls. Only one team has any flag rants, and Birdman lying one top of Nate Robinson should’ve been a flagrant too.

  11. deiong - May 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    like stern would ever eject him. why not just fantasise about something else that wont happen. like earning a ring for a change ;)

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