Memphis and Oklahoma City will play a deciding Game 7 of their series on Saturday and the Grizzlies will be forced to take the court without leading scorer Zach Randolph, who was suspended by the NBA for one game for punching Thunder center Steven Adams in Game 6.
The incident occurred during the fourth quarter on Thursday. Both players were running up the floor while Oklahoma City was bringing the ball up the court. Adams and Randolph were running side-by-side before Randolph cleared some space with an elbow then appeared to push/punch Adams in the face. The NBA released video of the incident, categorizing it as a punch in the jaw.
Here’s what I don’t understand. Paul George is not being suspended for walking off the bench and towards an altercation although rule that has been followed to the letter of the law in nearly every prior instance, including Game 4 of the 2007 Western Conference Finals which likely swung that series.
Nene Hilario headbutted Jimmy Butler AND grabbed the back of his neck, refusing to let go but was suspended for only one game.
How is what Zach Randolph did worthy of the same punishment when his “punch” didn’t even involve a swinging motion? If the point is to follow the letter of the law, it should be done in every instance. George barely left the bench and was not suspended. It’s unclear why Randolph is not receiving the same leniency. – AL
Featured image courtesy of Sean Davis/Flickr.