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Paul Pierce ejected from Game 1

May 1, 2011, 7:15 PM EDT

PIERCE_PAUL

There was a lot of bad blood between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat coming into the conference semifinals, and it’s only going to get worse after Paul Pierce was ejected from Game 1 of the series.

The Celtics’ captain was thrown out of the game after being involved in two altercations that resulted in double technical fouls being issued. The first technical came at the 7:58 mark of the fourth quarter. Pierce got James Jones into the air with a pump-fake, and Jones wrapped up Pierce around the neck/shoulder area in order to prevent him from getting a possible And-1 opportunity. Pierce took exception to Jones’ foul, and got right up in Jones’ face, talking trash while performing what the broadcast crew described as a “face-rub.”

Less than a minute of game time later, Dwyane Wade was issued a personal foul for running through a screen set by Pierce. Pierce had what were apparently some choice words for Wade after the whistle was blown, and referee Ed Malloy issued another double-technical to Pierce and Wade, which meant Pierce had to be ejected.

Given how aggressive Pierce was with Jones on his first technical less than a minute earlier, Malloy may have been quick to T up Pierce because he was afraid the situation was escalating. In hindsight, it appears as though Malloy should have allowed Pierce to stay in the game, especially given the situation, but Malloy had to make a call in the heat of the moment.

After the game, referee Danny Crawford explained Pierce’s second technical, saying that Pierce “directed profanity at Wade,” which qualifies as a “verbal taunt.”

After the game, Celtic coach Doc Rivers said that both Jones and Wade’s fouls on Pierce should have been flagrant fouls, but he also said that Pierce should not have reacted. When Pierce was ejected, the Celtics were down 87-74. The Celtics outscored the Heat over the last seven minutes of the game, but it wasn’t enough for them to avoid a loss.

  1. jonkam - May 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    how this no name ref got game 1 of the most anticipated series of the year is beyond me
    great going nba

  2. jstrizzle - May 1, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Not quite sure how James Jones’ foul on Pierce was that much different than Rondo’s on Lebron in the beginning of the game. If I recall the Announcers called for a flagrant in that situation as well. I guess a normal foul call makes it, if nothing else, consistent. The foul that seems more debatable is the Flagrant on O’Neal.

    Am I in the minority in thinking that maybe Pierce said something to the ref after Wade tried to run through that screen? I wish the NBA would clarify when they rescind or keep the technical as to what they decide.

  3. zackd2 - May 1, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted’s Crawford’s quote on the 2nd T, “A verbal taunt. He directed profanity at Wade. And in the rule book, that is a verbal taunt.”

    Seems pretty cut & dry.

    • bsandcs - May 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

      wow if players are supposed to get technicals for every profanity/ ‘verbal taunt’ directed at another player, half the league would get technicals every game.

      • bsandcs - May 1, 2011 at 7:50 PM

        turrible call

    • unbiasedfootballfan - May 1, 2011 at 8:07 PM

      Pretty cut and dry? If swearing on the basketball court is cut and dry than i expect about 35-40 technical fouls in the next game. What we had in game 1 was the heat outplaying the celtics but we also had a foul call on the celtics every time miami drove to the hoop but no foul when paul pierce or delonte west drive to the hoop. We have a ref who inserted himself into the game for no apparent reason. If the NBA had any guts they would rescind the flagrant on j oneal, rescind the second t to pierce and add flagrants to james jones and dwayne wade.

      • jstrizzle - May 2, 2011 at 12:32 AM

        Like I said earlier, If they are gonna add a flagrant to James Jones then they definitely need to add one to Rondo. At the beginning of the game he basically jumped on Lebron’s back on the clear path to the basket.

        The reason the Heat generally outplayed the celtics was they drove the lane more and when the Celtics tried to do the same someone was underneath taking the charge. They just played better defense than in previous matchups.

  4. jm9ulose - May 1, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Rondo literally tackled James in the 1st. Pierce was upset about fouls Boston commits virtually every game. Hypocrisy at it’s finest. The refs had nothing to do with the Celtics losing, they were down 13 when Pierce was ejected and never got closer than 7 in the entire second half. They were outplayed in game 1, period. Just tired of everyone always blaming the refs when the team they pull for loses.

  5. jrmcool20 - May 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    i read the article and clearly stats that the ref put the 2nd tech on paul p for a profanity remark towards wade not to the refs ,, i think why this ref did it was to prevent paul p from going off even more , he was clearly frustrated just from the first call tech and with j jones!!! but really the ref should have let him continue to play,, for the series,, its only 1 gm , this is a 7 gm series and the Cs have a tendancy to start a series badly after alot of time off ,, i mean miami played a good game a beat the Cs but again its 1 gm only and you can bet the Cs will be back for gm 2 with making adjustments will i think win gm 2 and tie series up ,, the pressure is on the heat to win the first 2 gms not the Cs ,, its going to be a good series and its just getting started !!! go celtics……

  6. jrmcool20 - May 1, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    oh hell if they gave a tech to every player that uses profanity towards eachother they would be short handed at every nba game ! lol,, come on now ,, the ref probally would not have called the 2nd tech if p p wasnt so fired up and the ref maybe thought he was defusing a bigger problem !!! no biggie , he did what he thought at the time was right ,, but im sure that tech would not be called if a diff senario …

  7. chitownbulls - May 1, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    This is why trash talking is becoming a thing of the past… However the Celtics, as a team talk a TON of trash. Paul needs to simmer down. His behavior is not corresponding to his experience. How many playoff runs has he participated in? C’mon Paul!

  8. jstrizzle - May 1, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    On a different note, I was getting so upset that the announcers kept saying he has earned the right to trash talk. Why has anyone earned the right to do that? I know KG talks the whole game but I don’t care because he does it while they are playing. I don’t turn on my TV to watch a guy get in someone’s face and talk about how tough they are after a foul. A flagrant foul I sometimes understand. I hope this game sets the tone for more basketball and less soap opera moments for the rest of the series.

  9. danvoges - May 2, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    this is why robots should referee games

    • jstrizzle - May 2, 2011 at 1:58 AM

      That is the beginning of the plot for the Terminator movies I think.

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