Dennis Lindsey on Suns-Jazz Fight: 'You Expect Players to Be Protected' by NBA

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2018

Phoenix Suns interim coach Jay Triano, right, grabs Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) as he goes after Suns forward Marquese Chriss (0) after Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) was shoved to the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Suns' Jared Dudley and Chriss were ejected. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey spoke out Friday night regarding contact Phoenix Suns players Jared Dudley and Marquese Chriss made with Ricky Rubio during Utah's 116-88 win Thursday.

Appearing on The Big Show with Austin Horton on 1280AM's The Zone, Lindsey said Rubio suffered a knee contusion, and he called for the NBA to curb unsportsmanlike actions:

"You expect players to be protected by the league, and we'll stand on that. Hopefully it won't cause him to miss any time, but frankly as of today we don't know. We're disappointed in the actions and we're going to express that."

Chippy play led to a fight that saw both Dudley and Chriss get ejected, while Jazz players Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles were assessed technical fouls.

SportsCenter tweeted video of the melee that ensued after Rubio was shoved by Chriss:

Lindsey suggested that the Suns may have been frustrated since they are out of contention in the midst of a rebuilding season:

"I've been on rebuilding clubs before...that's a tough circumstance. But competitive poise, no matter if you're in a rebuild, a playoff chase, a championship chase...competitive poise is something that's very important to us. We do it cleanly, but yet physical.

"We get competition brings frustration, but again, what happened last night was uncalled for."

Earlier this month, Rubio was on the receiving end of a shoulder jolt from Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague, which sent Rubio flying into the bench and caused a dust-up.

The Jazz acquired Rubio in an offseason trade with the T'Wolves.

During his first season in Utah, Rubio is averaging a career-high 12.3 points to go along with 5.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He is also shooting a career-best 40.3 percent from the field.

Despite losing Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics in free agency, the Jazz are somewhat surprisingly in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference.

They are currently seventh with a 39-30 record, while the Suns are 14th out of 15 Western Conference teams at 19-51.

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