Pittman Suspended 3 Games
Earlier today, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Dexter Pittman of the Miami Heat will receive a three game suspension for his flagrant foul on Lance Stephenson.
It should be noted that Pittman plays ZERO important minutes for the Heat, so this suspension really doesn’t affect the team. But please, only 3 games?! At the very least, it should have been a 7 game suspension. Let’s compare it to the Ron Artest elbow on James Harden: Pittman’s was pre-meditated, Artest’s was not. Granted, Ron’s might have looked worse, but at least it was in the heat of the moment. There was pretty much a bounty on Stephenson’s head after he taunted LeBron James earlier in the series. I respect that the Heat aren’t taking any of his crap, but the hit could have really injured Stephenson/affected his career.
Artest has a terrible reputation, but this was obviously pre-meditated and Pittman even winked to Miami teammates. The ball was already through the hoop when Pittman drove his elbow into Stephenson’s throat. I’m not sure which one is worse but Pittman should miss as many games as Artest did.
Woj also reported that Haslem will serve a one game suspension and miss Game 6 against Indiana.
The Heat are going to be upset about losing Haslem, who has given them scoring, rebounding and toughness off the bench. I want to think it could swing the series, but it’s tough to say. They lose a key big man in an important game 6, but with the way LeBron and Wade are playing, it could prove to be irrelevant. Indiana needs to take advantage of their size down low, especially with David West. Get Hibbert to set a screen for West’s man down low, followed by West setting a screen on ball, then slip into his mid-range sweet spots. Indy needs to put West in better scoring positions.
Despite Larry Bird’s “soft” challenge to his Pacers, expect a more buttoned-down Game 6.