Team chemistry is essential to any NBA team looking to make a deep run in the playoffs.
This is not how you build team chemistry.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Indiana Pacers teammates Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson got in a heated fight in practice on the night before their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Atlanta Hawks.
The two guards reportedly threw several punches at one another before teammates were finally able to drag Turner off the court.
Turner has since downplayed the incident, insisting that “nothing happened” with Stephenson during their practice session at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“I’m just trying to make the right plays here,” Turner told Yahoo! Sports. “Some nights I get two shots, some nights I get 10 or 12. I’m trying to get acclimated.”
Judging by Indiana’s performance in Game 1, it’s possible that Turner and Stephenson’s scrap might be more than just a display of competitive spirit. The Hawks dismantled the Pacers on their own court, taking an 80-66 lead into the fourth quarter and holding on for a 101-93 win.
All is not lost in the Hoosier State, however, as Indiana bounced back with a resounding 101-85 win on Tuesday night to even the series at 1-1.
If the Pacers can secure a victory in Atlanta in Game 3, they’ll have a strong chance of advancing to the next round. As long as they don’t beat themselves first.