The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are fighting like the basketball court in the middle of an octagon. The fifth game of this series was a battle. Both teams tried to hold their ground, but frustration started to set in and the play started to get chippy.
This series is one of the most physical in recent memory. The tension is starting to build and players are taking their aggression out on each other.
Miami won Game 5 and lead the series 3-2, but they could end up without two of their big men. Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman committed moronic fouls that will cost them games. Haslem will be suspended for Game 6 and Pittman received a suspension of three games.
The video of these fouls are below…after the jump.
Tyler Hansbrough started the foul contest after he was too physical with Dwyane Wade. The play was borderline, but Wade sold it by laying on the court for nearly thirty seconds. The Heat answered when Udonis Haslem put both hands in Hansbrough’s face and pushed his head back. In most cases, this would have been a Flagrant Two, which would eject Haslem from the game. He was only cited for a Flagrant One, the same level of Hansbrough’s foul. During the second-half, Marv Albert and Steve Kerr mentioned that Commissioner David Stern would review Haslem’s foul on Wednesday.
Possibly the most aggressive foul was committed by the Heat’s Dexter Pittman in the final minute of the game. Lance Stephenson was coming in the paint to rebound the ball, but Pittman jumped over to his side of the paint and put an elbow right in Stephenson’s throat.
Why would two back-of-the-rotation guys go at it like this? It started when Lance Stephenson held up the “choke sign” when Lebron missed a couple late-game free-throws. Miami didn’t take kindly to that and believe that Stephenson needed to learn to respect other players. Before Game 4 in Indianapolis, the Heat’s Juwan Howard crossed the half-court line and confronted Stephenson.
Pittman’s foul was planned and it has no place in the NBA. The Heat can survive without him. He is expendable and this is why he was chosen to commit the hard foul.
Nearly ever major player in this series have been close to fighting each other. Danny Granger and Lebron James have been talking trash to each other and it nearly came to blows twice. Because their team leaders are going at it, it is open season for the rest of the roster. It didn’t help when Wade tackled Darren Collison in Game 2. Wade was not suspended for Game 3, in which infuriated the Pacers and their fans.
The Heat will need to activate Eddy Curry, who has not played a single minute in these playoffs. Game 6 of the series is on Thursday in Indianapolis at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.
Here are the videos of the Miami Heat’s flagrant fouls and a video breakdown from Newsy.com…