BOSTON -- Wilson Chandler was the latest victim of the NBA's Stepford Rule on Friday night, when the soft-spoken forward was hit with a technical foul at the 7:58 mark of the second quarter in the 105-101 loss to the Celtics.
Chandler clapped his hands after hitting a baseline jumper over Nate Robinson, which drew an immediate whistle from referee Josh Tiven, who may have misinterpreted the clap as a visible gesture made in reaction to a non-call. Chandler let out a "Hey!" -- which is a typical yell that many NBA players make to try to incite a whistle for an and-one -- before the shot.
But in Chandler's defense, he clapped his hands not toward Tiven, but as he turned up the floor. He told me he did it because he had missed three previous jump shots, was mad at himself for it and happy he finally knocked one down.
The league charges players $2,000 per technical foul, which may not seem like a big deal to a guy who is making $2.1 million this season. But 2Gs is 2Gs and in this case, it's not deserved. The NBA reviews all technical fouls and upon further review, this one should be rescinded.
The league has already rescinded a technical foul assessed to Timofey Mozgov in the Knicks' preseason game against the Celtics at the Garden on Oct. 13. On that play, Mozgov was murmuring to himself in Russian as he walked by referee Kevin Fehr, who, perhaps the league determined, does not understand Russian so couldn't have considered anything Mozgov said to be tech-worthy.
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* - Is it time to start worrying about Danilo Gallinari? After an 0-for-6 performance that produced very little in other areas of the game, Mike D'Antoni had seen enough 3:13 into the third quarter and sat Gallo for the rest of the game. Gallinari told us repeatedly -- and tersely -- afterward that his wrist is not an issue. If it's not (and we think it absolutely is), Gallinari has to figure out how to still be an effective player even when his usually beautiful long-range jumper isn't making the net snap like a wet towel. Both Mike D'Antoni and Amar'e Stoudemire talked about the importance of being, as Stoudemire put it, "ready to play, ready to shoot and knock down open shots."
If he can't snap out of this funk, does D'Antoni consider sending him to the bench and moving Chandler, who had another solid night with 19 points, into the starting lineup?
* - Here's an interesting factoid from the Knicks' game notes: Landry Fields is one of three players from the 2010 NBA Draft who were in the starting lineup on opening night. The other two are John Wall (Wizards) and DeMarcus Cousins (Kings). Fields just continues to impress, with a double-double performance (11 points, 10 rebounds in 34:22) and he has so far not committed a turnover in two NBA games.
D'Antoni kept Fields away from Ray Allen and instead had Ray Felton guard Allen and put Fields on Rajon Rondo, who had a triple double (10 points, 10 rebounds and career-high 24 assists). It'll be interesting to see how D'Antoni plays it Saturday against the Trail Blazers in the home opener. Andre Miller is a big guard who isn't very athletic but he's strong and crafty. Brandon Roy is a tough cover for even the most seasoned NBA veteran.
* - Amar'e Stoudemire is not only proving to be a scoring machine, but he's pretty good with the quotes too. He spoke proudly about his team's resiliency in this game, despite an 11-point deficit with under three minutes left, and felt the team earned some respect from the Celtics as "a team to be reckoned with."
And when asked about his efforts in the fourth quarter to overcome double-teams and still score, Amar'e replied, "I just try to provide hope."
I'm expecting to see the Obama-like t-shirt soon.