Larry Sanders Suspended One Game For Push On Batum

The NBA announced Thursday that Larry Sanders has been suspended one game for pushing Portland’s Nic Batum in the back while he elevated to the rim during Wednesday’s game.

Sanders will sit out Thursday night’s matchup with the Kings in Sacramento.

Here’s the play:

As you can see, Sanders doesn’t give Batum much of a shove, but it was clearly enough to cause him to slip off the rim and fall violently on his side, eerily reminiscent of the Stoudemire/Bogut incident back in 2010. Fortunately, Batum wasn’t injured, though he stayed down for a while before returning to the game. The play was reviewed and ruled a flagrant-1 on the floor. However, the league office gave it another look Thursday and decided to elevate it to a flagrant-2, which automatically warrants a one-game suspension.

Without Sanders, the Bucks will be extremely shorthanded in the frontcourt Thursday. John Henson (foot), Ersan Ilyasova (face) and Jabari Parker (knee) have all been ruled out, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is a virtual game-time call after rolling his ankle Wednesday night.

As the Bucks’ luck of late would have it, Sacramento is expected to get DeMarcus Cousins back from a 10-game, meningitis-induced absence. The Kings, who looked like a dark horse playoff contender through the first month of the season, have gone just 2-8 in Cousins’ absence.

Zaza Pachulia will likely move into the starting lineup at center, and rookie Johnny O’Bryant figures to play a larger role than the Bucks probably expected. The rookie out of LSU, who was sidelined with an MCL injury during the preseason, made his NBA regular season debut against Portland, finishing with two points in five minutes. Khris Middleton could also see more time at power forward, as could Antetokounmpo if he’s cleared to play.

The game tips at 9:00 PM Central from Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

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  1. Will anyone be able to keep Sanders in check and prevent him from doing stupid crap like this? At some point he needs to understand just how important he is to the team and how negatively it affects the Bucks when he can’t play.

  2. Larry has to keep it down to a roar. He has one of those motors that make it difficult to keep it under control. Kidd is the one that has reign it in. At the trade deadline, the Bucks have to face the hard decision on if Larry is the future at that position. He has ability to change games but it goes both ways. If he can keep under control, fine but if not we have to look to the future, His value in the league is high right now.