By now, everyone in the NBA is aware that one of the worst infractions you can commit in a playoff game as a player is leaving the bench during a fight that’s happening on the court. One step in the wrong direction, and a player risks getting suspended for key playoff games. The NBA’s habit of bringing down the hammer has definitely scared most benches from getting involved in fights, but if you’re Milwaukee Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Jenkins jumped into action in Game 3 of the Bucks-Pistons series when Sterling Brown and Andre Drummond got into it over a hard screen that Drummond set. As the players and officials on the court tried to separate the two, Jenkins widened his body in front of the Bucks on the bench to prevent any potential mishaps.
There’s a chance that this was an instruction from coach Mike Budenholzer. The current Milwaukee head coach used to be an assistant for the Spurs from 1996-2013, which means he has some experience in this matter. In the 2007 playoffs, he witnessed the infamous hip check that Robert Horry gave Steve Nash that got Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw suspended for one game because they left the vicinity of their bench during the ensuing fracas. Granted, Budenholzer worked for the team that benefitted more from that ruling, but it was still a pretty notable event that probably stuck with him.
But regardless of where this idea came from, it’s certainly a decision based more on instinct than logic because no coach in their right mind thinks they could actually stop Giannis Antetokounmpo from going wherever he wanted.