The Udonis Haslem hack-job on Tyler Hansborough should have been called a flagrant-2, and if it was then the Heat might still have him for Game 6. But it was only called a flagrant-1, even though Haslem did not even pretend to go for the ball and brought both his arms down onto Hansborough’s head and shoulders. Haslem was suspended 1 game by the NBA.
Dexter Pittman’s elbow job on Lance Stephenson was even worse and blatant, and it did not surprise me to see him suspended for 3 games. Needless to say, the Indiana Pacers should completely dominate the post in Game 6. The Miami Heat are already struggling with front-court depth after Chris Bosh went down with an abdominal strain and now without they might have to turn to the dreaded Juwan Howard and Eddy Curry combination for minutes. This would spell doom for the Heat’s chances in Game 6, and it is a good thing for the Heat that Haslem’s injury was only for 1 game; otherwise it might have spelt doom for the Heat’s chances of getting out of the series.
This has been a physical and very interesting series. Larry Bird called out his players after game 5 saying that, “I can’t believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T,” Bird told the Indianapolis Star Tuesday night. “I’m disappointed. I never thought it would happen.” The Pacers will likely be fired up to prove their boss wrong, and that combined with the suspensions means fans will likely be treated to a thrilling Game 7 ending to this unbelievably competitive series.