Danny Granger had some choice words for Joakim Noah after the Pacers were eliminated in Game 5, per ESPN.
“He pulled a cowardly move,” Granger said. “He cheap-shotted a couple of my teammates, and one gets thrown out …
“The refs never catch what he did … it’s cowardly. And I’m going to say something about it. I wanted to say something about it all the way to the game was over. I just don’t think the game should be played that way. You can play hard and fight and battle, but when you start cheap-shotting people it gets out of hand.”
For his part, Noah didn’t escalate the situation any further:
“I played dirty? OK. I’m just trying to win basketball games, man,” Noah said. “It’s the name of the game.
“I’m just out there trying to do what I gotta do. Like I said, I give a lot of credit to their team. They play hard as hell. They were competitive. I don’t have anything bad to say about them. Everybody saw what happened out there. Now you want to call me a dirty player? I don’t think I’ve ever been a dirty player. It is what it is. It’s OK.”
Josh McRoberts didn’t seem to take issue with Noah’s play.
“I’m not mad about it,” McRoberts said. “He got a good hit on me. They caught me trying to hit him back.
“It’s part of the game. I’m not going to say it’s dirty. That’s Game 5 of a playoff series. You can’t say it’s dirty, it’s part of basketball.”
Here’s the play in question. You’ll see at the 0:25 mark that Noah was standing still underneath the basket with his elbow raised and McRoberts initiated the contact. Noah does nothing wrong.
Noah is not a popular player outside of Chicago, but I like his game. He plays with great energy and has a terrific feel for the game, especially for a big man. He is the heart and soul of this Bulls team.
Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.