Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen has been suspended one game without pay and has had his flagrant one from Game 5 upgraded to a flagrant two, the league announced on Friday.
Andersen, who has been on a tear offensively for the Heat in connecting on all 15 of his field goal attempts in the series, will miss Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday.
Really, this isn’t anything even resembling a surprise. Anyone watching when Andersen first leveled Tyler Hansbrough with a forearm, and then got face to face with him before shoving him again was incredulous that he was allowed to stay in the game at the time.
The official explanation from the league as to what exactly warranted the suspension is as follows:
“Andersen knocked Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough to the floor, escalated the altercation by shoving Hansbrough, and resisted efforts to bring the altercation to an end.”
That’ll do it.
The technical foul assessed to Hansbrough, who did nothing in this particular instance to evoke such a response, was just as ridiculous as the referees allowing Andersen to continue to play. It was rescinded by the league, which completes the cleaning up of the mess the referees made of this incident when it initially took place.
Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.
In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).
Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.
Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury
The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.
After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).