Chris Andersen, better known as Birdman these days, has been grounded for game six via suspension. His actions in game five in Indiana sparked the suspension. He should be available should the series require a game seven. Currently the Miami Heat have a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference Final series against the Indiana Pacers.
Birdman has been suspended for his actions in game five, which the Miami heat won 90-79. The 34 year old has been suspended without pay for the game as a result of his conduct with Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansborough. The events took place in the second quarter of game five, with roughly nine minutes on the clock. League officials investigating determined that Andersen knocked Hansborough down to the ground, then shoved Hansborough to the ground again. They also cited his behavior during the incident as resistant to any and all efforts to bring it to a conclusion.
Andersen has been an important factor in this series. He has brought a spark and edge to the Heat that has otherwise been missing at times in their lineup. He only averages 9.1 points, but that doesn’t do justice to his impact on the game. At one point in the series he made 14 consecutive baskets before finally missing a shot in game five.
Grounding the Birdman in game six is a major advantage for an Indiana Pacers team that now has to string together back to back victories on the road in order to upset the defending champs. Losing their muscle inside, the Miami Heat are going to be on the defensive in game six in the interior of the floor. Indiana has shown an advantage in the paint already, and now Miami will be down one of its best players in the crucial game.
This game is now a golden opportunity for Roy Hibbert to soar to the next level of his NBA career. With the Birdman grounded in game six, Hibbert will look to dominate the paint throughout this game. He has the ability to out muscle Chris Bosh, and the Heat don’t have the greatest depth, especially in the front court.
If Indiana can find a way to exploit the grounding of the Birdman and come out of game six with a victory, then the fireworks will go off in game seven. All would be on the line, and these two teams have already seen explosions throughout the series.
The winner of this series will go on to face the San Antonio Spurs, who secured their bid to the Finals with a victory in the Western Conference Finals earlier this week.
Technical fouls were assessed to both Hansborough and Birdman following the play, and Andersen also was assessed a flagrant one. Those plays were reviewed and eventually expanded to a flagrant 2 and a suspension without pay because of the fact that he “resisted efforts to bring the altercation to an end” as told by the NBA through its league release.
Game six will be heated even with the Birdman being grounded. Should there be a game seven, he will be able to play and will provide an even bigger boost to this Miami Heat team as a result. The Pacers now stand a great chance to even out this series and force a game seven in this budding rivalry.
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The Guardian Express