Al Thornton Made a Mistake, or Worse

No fan in Chicago or Los Angeles seems particularly happy about the Bulls-Clips overtime joint from Wednesday. The Bulls won, but needed a Ben Gordon four-point play to get to the extra frame. Tyrus Thomas logged only five minutes due to lingering effects of a possible concussion. On the other end ... well, you read the part about the four-point play, right? Eric Gordon clapped B.G. from behind on a three with less than a half-minute left. Simply brutal. Ben nailed it all (1 min 45 sec into this video), which left the Clips with one last shot to end it.

This is where Clippers fans seem to really have been beaten down. On this final play, Al Thornton took the shot -- a 20-foot fadeaway. Clipperblog describes the sequence. Clips Nation wonders if the play had been meant for Zach Randolph, who killed the Bulls through the second half. In his post-game press conference, coach Mike Dunleavy insisted it had been a Randolph play and that Thornton "just slashed in and got the ball."

The question becomes whether Thornton misheard the play call in the huddle, or whether he broke the play for reasons of anxiety (with time winding down) or for wanting the shot himself. As Clips Nation opines, it would seem impossible for a player to not understand what play a coach is calling when it been called a dozen times in the past hour. Either way, it reflects poorly on Thornton. Gordon made a huge mistake which let the Bulls back in. But Gordon's a 19-year-old rookie. Thornton has 100 games of NBA seasoning, and he's 25.

Al Thornton Made a Mistake, or Worse originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Thu, 18 Dec 2008 17:42:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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