At the end of the Heat's Game 5 blowout win vs. the Pacers, Dexter Pittman apparently decided to send a message to Lance Stephenson, who famously gave LeBron James the choke signal in Game 3. Pittman delivered a filthy, deliberate and unnecessary blow to the head and neck of Stephenson with less than a minute remaining and the Heat up by 25-plus points.
That's just not OK. That foul comes after both Tyler Hansbrough and Udonis Haslem gave blatant flagrant fouls earlier in the game, with Udonis Haslem's widely considered by fans and pundits as a Flagrant 2. Remarkably, none of the three fouls were called as such, all were called as Flagrant 1's. Like I said, this thing is out of control.
Juwan Howard and Stephenson were involved in an altercation over Stephenson's actions before Game 4. Stephenson did apologize, but apparently Miami doubted his regret, because that was intentional and targeting.
The Palm Beach post reports Stephenson is undergoing further testing after the hit, presumable for a concussion.
Lance Stephenson just walked by with the Heat's team doctor, for testing. Result of that Pittman foul.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 23, 2012
This series has become more and more physical and you have to wonder if the league will be forced to interject itself in order to regain control before someone is seriously injured. We'll keep you posted on possible suspensions on either side as the week goes on.
Game 6 is Thursday night in Indianapolis.