Tyler Hansbrough followed through with a hard foul on Dwyane Wade in Game 5 that got ball but on the follow through got Wade’s face and drew blood. Hansbrough will be playing in Game 6.
Udonis Haslem followed through on a hard foul on Hansbrough in that game — two hands that got ball but was clearly intended as a physical message — and Haslem is suspended for Game 6.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra complained Thursday like Heat fans did on call in shows and twitter all day the day before — it’s an unfair double standard. That Dwyane Wade and Lebron James put up with too many hard hits that go unpunished. From ESPN.
“The league does not have a problem with hard fouls on our two main guys,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday before taking on the Pacers in Game 6.
“In nine games now there’s been over a dozen hard fouls to the face, some of the tomahawk variety, some have drawn blood. They don’t have a problem with it so we don’t have a problem with it. We’ll focus on what we can control.”
The Pacers play a physical style, and it clearly has worked fairly well on the Heat. That nine game reference by Spoelstra refers back to the Pacers regular season games against the Heat as well.
To me the league got it right. Well, mostly right, Dexter Pittman should have gotten more games for his flagrant elbow but nobody is really arguing that suspension (not even Spoelstra, who said Pittman went rogue).
Hansbrough made a playoff foul. Hard but he played the ball. Haslem’s foul was clearly retaliatory — he has never gone for a two-handed block before in his life. I could go either way on suspending Haslem, but I have no problem with it.
And if you’re the Heat looking to retaliate for physical play, you may want to pick your spots better because not having Haslem for Game 6 really hurts.
But if the Heat need to go with the “us against the world” thing to motivate themselves, go for it. Every team does it.