yahoo – 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. 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. These two guards have struggled together since the deadline deal brought Turner from Philadelphia to Indiana. Suddenly, Turner is learning to play without the ball in his hands, and Stephenson is relearning the balance of passing and shooting. Truth be told, there were probably Pacers willing to let Stephenson and Turner beat the dribble out of each other. Still, Luis Scola and David West finally grabbed an enraged Turner and separated Stephenson.
My favorite part of all of this is reading from multiple sources how Lance Stephenson is a “known agitator” and how much blame he seems to be taking for the scrap. This may be true, but anyone familiar with the Sixers knows Evan Turner isn’t exactly winning any Best Personality awards, either. The guy seemed to piss off a lot of people along his way, and with him taking shots from Lance in the guy’s contract year / personifying the front office’s willingness to trade Danny Granger it’s clear to see why a confrontation could happen.
The Pacers are hilarious. Who would have thought a team with a fragile star, talkative center, Lance Stephenson, Evan Turner, and Andrew Bynum wouldn’t work?
PS – In a fair one smart money’s on Evan Turner all day.