2 Heat Veterans in Hot Water Amid $25,000 ‘Bench Decorum’ Fine

Heat bench

Getty Kyle Lowry #7 (far left) and Markieff Morris #8 (far right of the Miami Heat react from the bench against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in Game Four of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

While Jimmy Butler‘s outstanding performance undoubtedly propelled the Miami Heat‘s 111-103 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6, the whole team, even the players who didn’t step onto the court at the TD Garden received credit for keeping the team’s postseason alive.

Heat star Bam Adebayo actually commended the team’s bench players during his postgame conference on Friday, May 27. “Like I was telling everybody in the locker room, Markieff Morris was the MVP of the game,” Adebayo said. “Just his energy across the bench. Him, [Udonis Haslem], [Dewayne] Dedmon, everybody was a part of that win.”

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However, the Heat’s bench was perhaps a bit too involved. On Saturday, May 28, the NBA slapped the franchise with a $25,000 fine for “violating league rules regarding team bench decorum,” the official statement read.

“On multiple occasions, several players stood for an extended period in Miami’s team bench area, stood away from the team bench, and were on, encroaching upon or entering the playing court during live game action in the Heat’s 111-103 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on May 27 at TD Garden,” the NBA’s statement concluded.

Videos & Photos of Kyle Lowry & Markieff Morris on the Sidelines Went Viral During Game 6

While bench players from both the Celtics and Heat were seen standing and crowding the court in Game 6, videos of Kyle Lowry and Morris, in particular, went viral on Twitter for being the most problematic.

While Morris spent the entirety of Game 6 on the bench, Lowry turned up the energy on the sidelines after fouling out in the fourth quarter. Before exiting the game, the six-time All-Star, who’s playing through a hamstring injury, scored 18 points with 10 assists, four rebounds, one steal, and one block.

Boston-based reporters were particularly angry with the Heat veterans’ antics. Celtics beat reporter Taylor Snow tweeted a video of Boston’s Marcus Smart coming into contact with Morris’ chest while attempting to shoot a three-pointer and wrote, “If you draw contact from a player on the court and on the bench and still make the 3, I’d say that should be a 5-point play.”

As for Lowry, the 36-year-old point guard was also in hot water for standing too close to Al Horford while the Celtics center attempted to shoot.

MassLive reporter Brian Robb was particularly incensed by what he called “two egregious incidents in the second half” involving Lowry and Morris. For Robb, the NBA’s $25,00 fine wasn’t enough, recalling how the Dallas Mavericks were fined three times for the same type of violation during their playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

“Between the Mavs and Heat this postseason, NBA really needs to look at upping the fines or penalties for violating bench rules,” Robb tweeted. “A five-figure fine is an easy price to pay for an owner in exchange for his bench having a chance to illegally impact corner 3s in a tight game.”

“Would consider even allowing NBA to have someone reviewing these types of plays from Seacacus during the postseason in real-time,” Robb continued in a follow-up tweet. “If it’s egregious (player or coach on the court during a nearby shot attempt), give the team a technical at next stoppage.”

Numerous Heat fans balked at the hate from the Celtics media. “Boston doesn’t get fined??? They literally do the same s***,” one man tweed, while another person posted a thread of photos showing Boston bench players standing on the court while the ball was in play.

Game 7 Brings the Series Back to Miami

This Eastern Conference Finals series has been so wildly unpredictable that it’s hard to predict how Game 7 will play out, but it’s safe to assume the Heat’s bench will be under close watch.

Game 7 brings the series back to the FTX Arena, which should offer the Heat a slight edge. Miami holds a 6-2 record at home in Game 7s, per Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang.

The finale of the Celtics vs. Heat series will take place at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 29, airing live on ESPN.

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