The NBA's Executive Vice President Stu Jackson has passed judgment on the Dwight Howard flagrant foul last night, the result being a one game suspension.
(Dwight) Howard received a one-game ban for an elbow he swung at the head of 76ers center Samuel Dalembert in Tuesday's Game 5, and like teammate Courtney Lee -- who was later felled by an unintentional Howard hit -- will be absent when the 76ers try to force a Game 7 in the teams' tight first-round series.
From a statement released by Howard himself:
"I'm very disappointed but I have to respect the NBA's decision," Howard said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "I didn't intend to hurt anyone. I have complete faith in my teammates that they will come out and get the job done tomorrow night."
There has been no comment yet on the Rajon Rondo foul, which appears to be the more controversial since there was little disipline given during the game - it was just a regular, personal foul. John Hollinger from ESPN takes a hard look at the state of the playoffs
And as a result of those two plays, the focus is once again right where the league doesn't want it -- on the officials. Through four games and 52 minutes, 58 seconds of a fifth, all anyone could talk about was how entertaining the Celtics-Bulls series was and the theatrical battles between Gordon and Allen, or between Rose and Rondo, or between Del Negro and logic.
One smack to the head up north and one elbow in an ear down south, and all that has changed. We can only hope it's an isolated incident, yet all of us fear it won't be.
Stay tuned, there's certainly more to come...
Howard out for Game 6 (ESPN)
'Flagrants' foul up playoff picture (ESPN)