NBA suspends Miami Heat's Dexter Pittman three games, Udonis Haslem one game

After watching the Heat knock around his players, Larry Bird called the Pacers' effort S-O-F-T.

The NBA has announced that the Miami Heat's Dexter Pittman has been suspended for 3 games without pay and Udonis Haslem 1 game without pay for their flagrant fouls during Tuesday's Game 5 against the Indiana Pacers. Both had their flagrant fouls upgraded from Flagrant One to Flagrant Two, as did the Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough, who made contact with Dwyane Wade's head and caused him to bleed.

Haslem's foul took place shortly after that, as Udonis also made contact to the head and upper body of Hansbrough. It's not terribly surprising that Haslem was suspended for one game, but its even less surprising that Dexter Pittman was suspended for multiple games for his elbow to the neck of the Pacers' Lance Stephenson.

Stephenson had a target on his back after making a ‘choke' reference towards LeBron James during the 3rd quarter of Game 3 in Indiana. There was a brief altercation between Stephenson and Heat reserve Juwan Howard prior to Game 4, who made it perfectly clear that nobody on the Heat appreciated the lack of respect to one of the leagues best players by one that had done very little to make himself relevant to anyone outside of Indiana.

During the final minutes of Game 5, with all bench players in the game, Pittman took it upon himself to show Stephenson just what the Heat thought of his act of disrespect. As Stephenson ran towards the basket without the ball, Pittman took a couple steps toward Stephenson and gave him an elbow to the neck. It was definitely a dirty play, and Pittman deserves every bit of his penalty. Both suspensions will begin immediately, with neither player eligible to play in Game 6 on Thursday night.

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