In a huge blow for the defending champions, the Miami Heat's valuable big man Birdman, Chris Andersen, has been suspended by the NBA and will be forced to miss Game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.
The NBA reviewed the "Flagrant Foul One" that was given to Birdman for his confrontation with forward Tyler Hansbrough, mistakenly believing the reserve had given him a forearm shove to the back (when the culprit was really Paul George). Subsequently, it was upgraded to a "Flagrant Foul Two" as announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
Hansbrough's technical foul was also rescinded by the NBA.
The Heat, though fortunate that Birdman wasn't immediately ejected, were already at a severe disadvantage against the Pacers' frontline and playing on the road makes the task now that much harder. Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem must step up, with possibly Joel Anthony seeing time for Saturday night in the Heat's bid to join the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals.