The Indiana Pacers won last night’s playoff game versus the Atlanta Hawks, but the team is probably still in turmoil. Word has come out that Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner got into a scuffle the day before game 1 (Friday, April 18) of the series.
Reports Yahoo Sports:
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 you’ve played team sports before, you know you don’t have to necessarily like your teammates to succeed.
Don’t expect either player to comment on the situation, though.
Turner insisted “nothing happened” with Stephenson in practice on Friday, but he’s in a tough spot to cop to the truth. He doesn’t want to be a disruption, but rather a solution. Turner’s trying to fit into these Pacers, trying to prove he belongs on the court for a championship contender.
The Pacers and Hawks face each other again on Thursday, April 24 in Atlanta.