Last year, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy spent some time crying about certain players receiving preferential treatment regarding suspensions, depending on the situation. He was specifically referring to the league’s decision to not suspend Rajon Rondo following a flagrant foul he committed on Chicago’s Brad Miller. I’m sure Van Gundy has no problem with the officials giving stars preferential treatment in this year’s playoffs, because if they didn’t he’d be without his best player for Game 3 against the Celtics in Boston. The NBA reviewed Dwight Howard’s foul on Paul Pierce in last night’s game — which was ruled a Flagrant 1 — and announced that the play will stand as called and will not be upgraded to a Flagrant 2. That means, of course, that Howard will not be suspended. In case you missed it, here’s the video of Dwight Howard’s flagrant foul on Paul Pierce during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
I’m never one to complain about suspensions not being handed out — especially in the playoffs when it could potentially affect the outcome of a series. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that if this foul is committed by let’s say, Kendrick Perkins, its a Flagrant 2. Granted, Perkins is a loud mouth who loses his cool far more often than Howard, but this is absolutely star treatment at its finest. Howard grabbed Pierce by the face and threw him to the ground. If that isn’t considered trying to hurt someone, then I really don’t know how you can determine what is and what isn’t. Maybe Van Gundy’s whining last year paid off.Google+