The NBA has suspended Kelly Oubre, Jr. after shoving Kelly Olynyk during a scuffle in Game 3 on Thursday.
The suspension is officially for one game without pay. Oubre will not be available for Game 4 of the Wizards’ series against the Celtics on Sunday evening as Washington tries to avoid going down 3-1 in their series against Boston.
In an official announcement, Oubre’s contact on Olynyk was called “forceful and unwarranted” by league officials. On Friday, Oubre told his side of the story to reporters and made it clear he felt Olynyk’s hard screen was not just a one-time issue:
"It was just recurring events. I've been hit in the head multiple times by the same person. I've confronted him about it. The last time it happened, I fell, I felt pain in my head and my jaw and I got up and I ran to him and I bumped him."
While Oubre may have a point, and while some may question whether or not Olynyk overdramatized the fall, the bottom line is Oubre lost whatever high ground he may have had when he ran over and shoved Olynyk. He put the NBA in a position where they had to make a decision, and they certainly did that.
If there’s any good news, it’s that the Wizards were able to find some success with their bench in spite of Oubre’s absence in Game 3. Washington had to use a more offensive-minded bench which held its own and forced Isaiah Thomas to work harder on the defensive end. Only time will tell if that approach will work again on Sunday, but if it doesn’t, they won’t have Oubre has a fallback option.