- Apr 22, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Evan Turner (12) and forward Chris Copeland (right) react after Turner made a three point shot against the Atlanta Hawks in game two during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Ah, yes this is a Sixers site. But, how can we turn down news like this from one of our former players? One that wasn’t liked very much, at that. Reports have surfaced that Lance Stephenson (of course) and Evan Turner (why not) were involved in a scrap during practice before the Pacers vs Hawks series began. Wait, during PRACTICE?! Practice?! Not the game…PRACTICE!?
On the eve of this Eastern Conference series, the wobbling No. 1 seed punctuated its final playoff preparations in a most self-destructive way: Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson.
Turner hadn’t been the first Pacer to lose his temper with Stephenson these tumultuous several weeks, and Stephenson’s relentlessly irritable nature suggests Turner won’t be the last. These scrapes aren’t uncommon in the NBA, but this confrontation had been weeks in the making and that reflected in the ferocity of the encounter, sources told Yahoo Sports.
“This stuff happens, but the timing wasn’t ideal,” one witness told Yahoo Sports.
If acrimony naturally lingered into Saturday, make no mistake: Stephenson and Turner weren’t the reason the Atlanta Hawks embarrassed the Pacers in Game 1. Maybe it tilted the mood of locker room, but no one dared suggest that it held responsibility for deadening the Pacers into defeat.
Surprise? No, not at all. Lance Stephenson seems like the type of player that would anger his own teammates. This is just interesting stuff, especially since Evan Turner is the one involved. Ever since Turner has arrived in Indiana, the Pacers have been self-imploding and this is just another blemish on their playoff run. Well, they have to get out of the first-round against the Hawks for it to be considered a playoff run. Is this fight the reason for the Pacers game one loss to Atlanta? Who knows, but the Pacers rebounded nicely in game two with an easy victory.
So, who would win in a fight? Lance or Evan? I’m taking Lance Stephenson, because who could pick against someone nicknamed “Born Ready”? I can’t and maybe you can’t either. Evan Turner always seemed like the dog that would bark but never bite, I guess we were wrong. This issue happens all the time in the NBA, but in the playoffs, everything becomes news. Don’t overreact to this, if anyone has played on a sports team at any level, this stuff is commonplace.