Celtics at Wizards Today, 6:30 p.m., TNT Boston leads series, 2-1 Oubre suspended: NBA bans forward one game for Game 3 shove on Boston’s Olynyk.
The NBA on Saturday suspended Wizards reserve forward Kelly Oubre Jr. for Game 4 of the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Celtics for his running shove of Boston big man Kelly Olynyk in Game 3.
The league said in a statement that Oubre was suspended for “charging and making forceful and unwarranted contact” with Olynyk. Oubre was assessed a flagrant-two foul and ejected from the game.
Oubre was concerned about the possibility of a suspension almost immediately after leaving the floor, particularly considering he made inadvertent contact with referee Monty McCutchen while charging Olynyk. He wasn’t surprised to learn the news Saturday.
“Just a consequence for my actions,” Oubre said. “Right now I’m just looking forward to my next game I’m able to play and getting better till then. Tomorrow my teammates are going to step up, hold it down. We’re a nextman-up team, so I have no worries on that . . . the league has to do what they have to do. They have to handle the situation. It’s in the past, it happened, they made it their rule and I have to follow it.”
The Wizards trail the Celtics 2-1 in the series heading into Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. tip at Verizon Center. Oubre’s absence will force Washington Coach Scott Brooks to spread his minutes around a bench that had just reached full strength Thursday, when backup center Ian Mahinmi finally returned after a left calf strain.
Oubre has been primarily a defensive catalyst for the Wizards, particularly as an extra body they can stick on Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas.
“We’ve had a next-man-up mentality all year,” Brooks said. “We’ve got options, we can move some people around. But not having him, it’s not ideal, but it is what it is. You just go forward and play the game. You can’t worry about who’s not playing — but we’ve been in this situation. One time we started two rookies in our backcourt when John and Brad did not play in Chicago, so we’ve always had that mentality. Our guys have kind of bought into that, so I’m excited to see how we play and whoever I choose to play in those minutes.
“I’m looking at all options, maybe give some extra minutes, maybe add another guy, maybe change some spots on the floor with different players playing different positions. Those are all on the table right now. We just have to pick one by tomorrow early evening. Whoever I pick I have full confidence in the guy or the situation we pick that they’re going to play well.”