Central Notes: Bates, LaVine, Walker, Williams

Cavaliers rookie second-rounder Emoni Bates and Gabe Osabuohien were each suspended for two games without pay for entering the spectator stands while playing for the G League Cleveland Charge, according to an NBA Communications press release.

The incident occurred at the conclusion of the Charge’s 126-105 loss to the Birmingham Squadron on Saturday. Bates, who is on a two-way contract with the Cavaliers, will lose over $7,700 in pay during the G League suspension, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff defended the actions of the two players, claiming that they were subjected to nasty and inappropriate comments from the stands, Peter Dewey of CavaliersNation.com relays.

“We talked to Emoni and I want to be clear about the circumstances of that and I don’t think it’s been clear. It was an ugly incident from the fan standpoint,” the Cavaliers coach said. “Emoni and Gabe , they draw the attention and I understand the league’s hard and fast rule on approaching the stands and that type of thing, but there’s also a line that needs to be drawn between how fans believe they can interact with players, how they can interact with players’ families and the things that were said to Emoni and his family. I let him know we’ve got his back, we’re still supporting him and as a league there needs to be more done to protect those guys. They should never have to go through what they went through and be called the names they were called.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls revealed on Friday that Zach LaVine would miss at least a week due to a right ankle sprain. The Athletic’s Shams Charania said on FanDuel’s Run It Back program (Twitter link) that LaVine’s injury is worse than a Grade 1 (mild) sprain.
  • In light of the Pascal Siakam acquisition, Pacers’ rookie forward Jarace Walker would seemingly have an even smaller role. However, coach Rick Carlisle has been giving Walker more opportunities to play small forward, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star notes. “Once we acquired Pascal, you gotta take a hard look at how this thing is shaping up,” Carlisle said. “With the realities about the importance of playing with size to being a good defensive team, it makes sense to put him in that equation somewhere. It doesn’t mean he will always play 3. The more I’m going through this, I like playing with size, size that can move and make plays and stay in front of people is even better.” Walker, the eighth overall pick of last year’s draft, has averaged 21.3 minutes of playing time over the last three games.
  • Patrick Williams, a restricted free agent after the season, remains a work in progress when it comes to decision-making on offense, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. Bulls coach Billy Donovan gave Williams a quick hook on Saturday when he made two passive decisions instead of being aggressive. “Guys grow and develop at different rates. It’s not like he doesn’t want to do it. I just think he’s got to be more decisive when the ball comes,” Donovan said.
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