(video via CBS Sports)
Everyone is asking the same question: Should Dwyane Wade be suspended for a flying elbow of his that touched up Lance Stephenson’s head? Bob Kravitz says yes. Matt Moore concurs. But Jason Whitlock does not.
Of note: There was no whistle of any kind during the game related to the play.
Also of note: A play Whitlock, and others, are also talking about is a David West elbow on Mario Chalmers, who is dealing with an injured shoulder. No whistle was blown for this play either.
About Wade’s elbow, Jeff Zillgitt raises the question of intent.
NBA reviews all iffy plays but Wade-Stephenson play draws closer look. Will be hard to prove intent for a suspension: usat.ly/110IfSp
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) May 25, 2013
Bomani Jones has some thoughts on that.
so i fell asleep in the 4th qtr last night. if wade wasn’t trying to elbow stephenson, what WAS he doing? serious question. — Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) May 25, 2013
this was my hansbrough/henderson point. oh, he wasn’t trying to elbow tyler? cool. so what was he doing? — Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) May 25, 2013
The general sentiment I’m hearing is that Dwyane Wade should be suspended for Game 3 but he won’t be because he is Dwyane Wade and he plays for the Heat of Miami.
Dwyane Wade throws an elbow to Lance Stephenson’s head, nothing happens. Stephenson does it to Wade and he’s called for 23 flagrant fouls.
— NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) May 25, 2013
I’m shocked Wade was involved in a dirty play.I’ll be just as shocked when there are no repercussions.
— NYKnicksPodcast (@NYKnicksPodcast) May 25, 2013
@nyknickspodcast League announced that Lance Stephenson will be suspended 2 games for his vicious attack on Wade’s elbow.
— R.M. KnickerBocker (@RM1NYC) May 25, 2013
Of course, none of this matters. They’ll say it wasn’t intentional or they’ll pretend it never happened, and Wade will play in Game 3.
— Jared Dubin (@JADubin5) May 25, 2013
So if Metta made the same play as Wade or West with his elbow how many games would he be suspended? My guess is at least 2
— Isaiah Barney (@isaiahbarney) May 25, 2013
You get the drift.
Of course, there is a history here, as Ball Is Life pointed out.
Last year in the playoffs, Stephenson made a choke symbol on the sidelines. Juwan Howard had words with the young fella about that the next day. Then, Dexter Pittman came off the bench late in a later game and tried to take off Stephenson’s dome in a way that lacked any ambiguity about intent.
UPDATE: Glaring omission: Dwyane Wade’s shove on Darren Collison last year. This, of course, is the reaons many Pacers’ fans think (a) Wade won’t get suspended this time either, and (b) the NBA is rigged in favor of keeping Heat stars on the court for ratings. Wade also got smacked by Tyler Hansbrough last year in the playoffs.
Should Wade miss Game 3? I don’t know. I don’t really do “shoulds.”
Question that matters: Will Wade miss Game 3?
I think he will.
The league has continued to ramp up its efforts to eradicate this type of stuff. Pittman was suspended for headhunting Lance last year, and Udonis Haslem also got a game for trying to take off Tyler Hansbrough’s head. Meanwhile, earlier during this playoffs, J.R. Smith got a one-game suspension for elbowing Jason Terry.
Who knows what will happen?
I’ll just leave you with this (also courtesy of Ball Is Life).
(NOTE: Original Ball Is Life screen shot image has been edited to better fit our post design format.)
UPDATE: Here is a video of some Wade “highlights” that was passed along by @ThackdaddyFresh.