Fresh from the NBA Press Office:
NEW YORK, May 27, 2010 – Following a review of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic, the NBA has announced the following:
* Celtics center Kendrick Perkins’ technical foul with 36.1 seconds
remaining in the first half has been rescinded.
* Celtics forward Paul Pierce’s foul with 8:12 remaining in the fourth quarter has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 1.
Quick Analysis: As expected, the NBA makes the right move in this situation and takes back one of the unjust T’s levied upon Kendrick Perkins last night, putting off a one game suspension for at least one more contest. He probably deserved both T’s to be rescinded, but even the most optimistic C’s fan wasn’t expecting that, as the NBA likely want to save a little face here for their officials.
Say what you want about the T’s, but the injuries to all the other Celtic big men really forced the NBA’s hand here in my estimation. With Glen Davis likely out for game 6 (probably longer) with a concussion, taking Perk out of the equation would be essentially giving game 6 to Orlando. Without Perk, the C’s front line would have consisted of KG, Sheed, Shelden Williams and Brian Scalabrine. Not exactly murder’s row right there. With Perk back in the mix though, that lineup looks a lot better for the C’s chances to contain Mr. Howard.
All things considered, while the C’s rightfully caught a break here, they are still nowhere near to being out of the woods just yet. Perk still has six technicals, just one short of a mandatory one game suspension, so he will need to be extra careful to keep his cool heading into what will undoubtedly be a heated and physical game 6.
As for the upgrade on Pierce’s foul to a flagrant, all I could do is laugh. I vaguely remember that play with J.J. Redick going down pretty hard after a good foul by Pierce.
It’s really harmless at this point, Pierce has not accumulated any flagrants during this postseason, so he is not at risk for any kind of future suspension. Again, this appears to be the NBA just trying to flex their muscles a bit and maintain control in what has been an incredibly physical series. Now if they would only start paying attention to some elbows……