The most flagrant of the flagrant fouls delivered in Game 5 of the Heat-Pacers series came just before the final buzzer, when Miami center Dexter Pittman threw a flying forearm at Indiana guard Lance Stephenson with 19.4 seconds remaining.
As with an earlier foul by Heat teammate Udonis Haslem, the officials only whistled Pittman for a Flagrant 1, but the outrage on Twitter from media members seemed even greater.
My god, what does it take to get kicked out of a playoff game? Dexter Pittman should get three games for that shot to Stephenson's throat.—
Pat Forde (@YahooForde) May 23, 2012
Pittman just guaranteed Haslem's suspension for game 6…. What Pittman just did worse than Metta.—
Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) May 23, 2012
Trying to think of dirtier play than the Pittman clothesline – and am drawing a blank….—
Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) May 23, 2012
To compound matters, Pittman apparently winked after the infraction. If both Pittman and Haslem are suspended for Game 6, the Heat — already without Chris Bosh — will be seriously short on big men.
Meantime, Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD offered this update on Stephenson:
Doctors are evaluating Lance Stephenson. He's getting x-rays and a concussion test. He may have a broken collarbone, says Danny Granger.—
Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 23, 2012