The elbow heard around the world. Kevin Garnett is suspended for tonight’s game for giving Quentin Richardson the People’s Elbow at the end of game 1. The ruckus occurred after KG “politely” asked the Heat players to give his teammate, Paul Pierce, some room to breathe. Pierce was laid out along the Heat bench after suffering what appeared to be a career ending shoulder injury. Miraculously, Pierce was back on the court in 5 minutes after the refs restored order. While Pierce was down, Richardson joined the crowd hovering around Pierce, KG was pushing people back, words were said, elbows thrown, and now KG is out for game 2.
The fight wasn’t even a fight, just pushing and shoving. KG lost his cool throwing two elbows and connecting with one of them. I thought a suspension was overkill considering KG received 2 technicals and was ejected from game 1. The league office felt differently. The NBA has tried to clean up their game over the years and have gone to the extreme, suspending players for scuffles that happen in the heat of the battle. One of my favorite moments in all of sport is when Kevin McHale clothes lined Kurt Rambis in the 1984 NBA Finals. McHale wasn’t suspended for the next game. He didn’t even get a flagrant foul. You know why? Because it was the NBA Finals. KG shouldn’t have thrown an elbow, but does it warrant a one game suspension. I don’t think so. I say let them play, after all this is the NBA playoffs.
Though KG is out for game 2, I liked the intensity he showed. He was backing up his teammate, flexing a little muscle. Celtics need that kind of swagger and hopefully this incident will fire them up for the series. Celtics are a better team than the Heat and I want to see them take care of business as quickly as possible. This is a big game for the Celts tonight. Rasheed Wallace better be ready. Sheed was brought here for this exact situation. With KG out, this gives Sheed a great opportunity to redeem himself. Sheed has been a disappointment during the regular season, but if he plays well in the playoffs, all is forgiven. I don’t want to see Sheed along the perimeter tonight, get down on the box and demand the ball.
I have a feeling Big Baby will again provide a spark like he did in game 1. Davis will see more playing time tonight and I’m confident he will make the most of it. Though the bench will need to play well tonight, most of the responsibility falls on the other members of the Big Three. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had off nights shooting during game 1. They need to score tonight if the Celts are to win game 2. I expect big games from Pierce and Allen.
The Garden will be rocking tonight. If the Celtics want to go deep in the playoffs, they must win games like this, especially at home. Celtics have a great chance to go up 2-0 and turn the temperature up on the Heat.
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Written by johnw