The league has reviewed several plays from Game 2 between the Pacers and the Heat, but only the elbow that Dwyane Wade delivered to the head of Lance Stephenson was determined to be deserving of any additional attention.
Wade was not suspended for the hit, but the play was upgraded to a flagrant one foul, the NBA announced on Sunday.
There was considerable speculation that Wade might be in danger of being forced to sit out Game 3 because of his action on the play, an awkward one where he left his feet in an apparent attempt to try to get past Stephenson in the open floor. Wade caught Stephenson with an elbow while doing so, though the referees didn’t even whistle Wade for a personal foul at the time.
Elbows to the head or similar shots taken by players outside of the normal course of the game have often times been punished after undergoing review days later, but the strange nature of this particular play, along with the fact that it was extremely difficult to determine whether or not Wade had any malicious intent were likely the factors that allowed Wade to escape the suspension.
A far more minor play from David West, where he appeared to intentionally catch Mario Chalmers with an elbow, was among the other plays that were thought to be similarly under review.
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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
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That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.