Bulls’ Marco Belinelli fined $15K by NBA for obscene gesture Saturday
BY HERB GOULD email@example.com May 6, 2013 7:06PM
Updated: May 6, 2013 9:12PM
MIAMI — Marco Belinelli was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Monday for making an obscene gesture during the Bulls win at Brooklyn on Saturday.
“What do you want me to say?’’ said Belinelli, who gestured to the Nets after making a clutch three with about five minutes to play. “Those are the rules. They talked to me Sunday about it. They asked me why I did that. I said I really didn’t think about it too much. That’s OK. [Now] I have something to think about.’’
Belinelli had 24 points in the Bulls’ 91-81 win.
Hinrich, Deng out
Starters Kirk Hinrich (bruised left calf) and Luol Deng (side effects from spinal tap) remained out of the lineup, but it appears they’re making some progress on the road to recovery.
Hinrich, missed his fourth straight game, is day-to-day, coach Tom Thibodeau said: “We’ll see where he is [on Wednesday].’’
Deng, who has been out for three games, also is day-to-day, Thibs said. Deng, who has remained in Chicago to recuperate, could rejoin the team on Tuesday, the coach added.
“I spoke to him today,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s feeling a little better.’’
To keep the rust off the Heat, which eliminated Milwaukee on April 28, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra stressed intensity during workouts.
The Heat weren’t pondering the Bulls’ injury situation, either.
“It’s more about our competitive spirit and what we’re bringing,’’ Spoelstra said. “We really wanted to [get after it in practice]. We wanted to balance working and trying to simulate playoff intensity. A couple of practices were more training camp-ish.’’
The teams split their four regular-season meetings. In the most high-profile game, the Bulls beat the Heat 101-97 on March 27 in Chicago, ending Miami’s 27-game winning streak. It was also a game that left LeBron James questioning physical defensive tactics.
The Heat wasn’t drinking the Kool-Aid, though, that has it romping past the Bulls with ease.
“You still expect them to compete and have the same defensive system, the things that they’re known for,’’ Spoelstra said. “Our guys have respect for our opponent. We know this will be a physical, competitive series.’’
James accepted his fourth MVP trophy from commissioner David Stern in a pregame ceremony.
James is the fifth player to collect at least four MVP trophies in the NBA. He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Bill Russell (five), Michael Jordan (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four).