When you think of the league’s most physical players, Mario Chalmers isn’t a name that immediately jumps to the top of the list.
But after his ejection on Friday for swinging a forearm to the face of Dirk Nowitzki, Chalmers has racked up enough flagrant foul points in the early part of the season that the next one will land him a league-mandated suspension.
And that would be on top of the one-game suspension that was handed down by the league on Saturday. Chalmers will miss Miami’s next game in Charlotte against the Bobcats.
With Friday night’s ejection for his forearm to the head of Dallas Mavericks forwardDirk Nowitzki, Chalmers now has four points in the NBA’s flagrant-foul system. By rule, a player is suspended for the next game once he exceeds five points.
With each Flagrant 1 foul counting for one point and each Flagrant 2 counting as two, Chalmers put himself on the precipice of suspension with Friday’s Flagrant 2, a call that came eight days after Chalmers was assessed a Flagrant 2 for an elbow to the neck of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.
Chalmers seemed to be earnest in explaining what happened. To hear him tell it, he was simply trying to free himself from Dalmbert, and the shot to Nowitzki was simply collateral damage.
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“Dalembert had my arm so I had to get my arm free,” he said of his swinging motion. “There was nothing intentional about it. I didn’t even see Dirk.” Chalmers tried to tell the same to the officials before he left the floor. “I just told them, ‘Look at the replay and look at Dalembert holding my arm,’ ” he said. “That’s all I said to them.”
The hit on Griffin was absolutely a flagrant two — Chalmers left his feet and delivered a forearm to Griffin’s neck, so it’s tough to buy any excuses there. The one that caught Nowitzki could indeed have been accidental, and the explanation Chalmers gave seems to make sense.
But clearly, the league didn’t see it the same way.