The Brooklyn Nets were about to earn a signature win over the undefeated New Orleans Pelicans on the road, but then all hell broke loose. First, leading 115-114 in the closing seconds, all the Nets had to do was hold the ball and wait to get fouled. Instead they played a game of hot potato with the basketball, which worked -- until D'Angelo Russell threw the ball directly out of bounds.
The miscue was immediately followed by an ice-cold Jrue Holiday jumper that put the Pelicans up one with two seconds left in the game.
Then things got even stranger. As the Nets huddled to draw up a potential game-winning play, Pelicans forward Solomon Hill walked toward Brooklyn's bench, either to get a sense of what they were planning or just to mess with them. Either way, Nets center Ed Davis didn't appreciate it, so he put his forearm into Hill's chest to get him away.
That's when Hill displayed his Oscar-worthy acting chops, falling to the floor as if he'd just caught a right hook from Mike Tyson.
The referees reviewed the play and assessed Davis a technical foul, with Holiday making the free throw to put the Pelicans up 117-115. Anthony Davis deflected the ensuing Nets inbounds pass, and that was all she wrote.
This is some next-level trolling by Hill. We've seen players walk into opposing teams' huddles before, but to flop and draw a technical after being pushed away -- that's uncharted territory. The incident didn't end up affecting the game because the Nets turned the ball over, but who knows if it flustered them or changed their game plan being down two points instead of one.
The league is usually pretty quick to act on things like this, so we'll see if there are any changes in rules or emphasis that prevent players from approaching other teams' huddles during timeouts.