No Suspension for Wade on Stephenson Hit
Miami HEAT guard Dwyane Wade was assessed a flagrant foul, penalty-1 on Sunday but was not suspended for his forearm to the head of Indiana Pacers gaurd Lance Stephenson in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night.
After reviewing several foul situations from Game 2, including the Wade play and Pacers forward David West’s elbow to HEAT point guard Mario Chalmers’ shoulder, league officials decided that a flagrant 1 for Wade — the less severe variety — was the only upgrade or downgrade warranted.
During the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ 97-93 victory that evened the series at one game apiece, Wade leaped and made contact with the side of Stephenson’s head while running up the floor in transition while Miami had the ball. It was an odd play, as it wasn’t clear what Wade or Stephenson were doing during that sequence away from the ball. Stephenson was standing near midcourt, appearing to attempt to get in Wade’s way without much other purpose. Wade chose to leap and push off Stephenson to get down the floor instead of simply running around him.
Though video replays did not show Wade winding up or using force to hit Stephenson, the HEAT star opened himself up to the possibility of a suspension by virtue of making contact with an opponent’s head. The NBA has adopted a new concussion policy and has become more vigilant about protecting players from head injuries.