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Winderman: Haslem’s retaliation hurts Heat on court at key time

May 23, 2012, 7:18 PM EST

Miami Heat's Haslem flagrantly fouls Indiana Pacers' Hansbrough in the second quarter during Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference second round basketball playoff series in Miami Reuters

Back in the day, when violence was king and Pat Riley was puppet-master, a colleague in New York warned me where the initial round of Heat-Knicks was headed.

He said he had seen it before, the way Riley could wind up players with the Knicks and have them unleash frightening fury in the name of victory.

He said P.J. Brown was at that point. He was right. Heat-Knicks was about to go all gory.

Which brings us to Tuesday’s vigilante justice at AmericanAirlines Arena and the fallout for Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman.

Based on his follow through against Tyler Hansbrough, and the fact that Udonis Haslem had never gone for a two-handed blocked shot before, his suspension for Thursday’s Game 6 against the Pacers was an unavoidable NBA ruling.

As for Pittman? Pure thuggery, to a degree worse than a punch.

So now the Heat move forward without Haslem.

And that is what really matters, that in the name of retribution, the Heat now will go into Game 6 without their best power forward (Chris Bosh) and their second-best power forward (Haslem). The timing for payback against Hansbrough couldn’t have been worse.

If Danny Granger is limited by his ankle issues, then it will be easier to simply shift LeBron James to more time at power forward.

Otherwise, Juwan Howard could make himself a factor for more than pregame antics.

And Joel Anthony might have to play more minutes, when it has become clear that he is at his best in measure minutes.

As for Eddy Curry? Not going to happen. You cannot replace suspended players on the active game-night roster.

Oh, it’s possible that on same handsomely crafted postseason video the Heat will point back to this as the moment they came together.

And perhaps it will prove to be just that in a Riley-infused locker room.

But in the game that would allow the Heat to avoid Saturday do-or-die, they will enter shorthanded, missing arguably the heart of the franchise, the player who helped seal the Heat’s previous visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

This isn’t Alonzo Mourning costing the Heat a series for his punch at Larry Johnson.

But it also hardly is a moment to be celebrate in the name of rah-rah team building.

This hurts the Heat as a basketball team.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

  1. canehouse - May 23, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    It’s a blow… Heat still close it out at Inbred Field House tomorrow night!!!!!

    • trickybastard - May 23, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      inbred like lebrons mom and delonte west?

      • bils293 - May 23, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        And how is that inbred?

      • duane888 - May 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Somebody’s taking it personally. Are you an inbred?

    • trickybastard - May 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      or, inbred like Rupaul?

      here’s video of lebron and Rupaul crying together after losing last year. very inbred

    • Alex K - May 24, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      Come on now…inbred? I don’t stick up for my home state all that much, and there are very rural parts of Indiana it is a far cry from that.

    • southbeachtalent - May 24, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      A 75% Granger can’t guard LBJ. We will be fine. Besides the refs will be caling fouls tonight. Can’t get away with hacking LeBron and Wade again.

      I prefer Golden Shower House..

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 23, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    But it’ll pay off when Wade goes to the hole tomorrow night and Hansborough doesn’t foul.

    • trickybastard - May 23, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      I just have one response to that…

  3. rickyspanish - May 23, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    trickybastard

    How does that make sense?

  4. rodge1 - May 23, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Wow Ira!… How did you ever come up with such a breakthrough news story?… I didn’t realize all the things you wrote in that article until I read the story. Thanks for stating the obvious. Guess what? The sky is blue!!!… Maybe now I can write for your newspaper too!!!

    • trickybastard - May 23, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      It’s not a newspaper. It’s a blog. On blogs they don’t always “report” and instead they capture events for additional commentary.

      Apparantly not all things are that obvious to you either.

      Perhaps you need a blog to teach you what blogs are about.

  5. progeny7 - May 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I am happy the commish put his foot down but POittman should have been levied with the same penalty as Artest, if not worse. A cheap win is a win, but it also cheapens the entire game. Heat players should hope that other teams don’t start going after Wads and Lebron like they went after Hansbrough and company. The Heat shouldn’t be worthy enough to hold the trophy because they played with no class. Riley should be ashamed of that thugish display.

  6. limonadamas - May 23, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    It’s fine… Even if the Pacers win Game 6 (Granger’s status is up in the air), there’s no way the Heat lose Game 7 in Miami. If it hurts the Heat as a basketball team, it’ll only be because now there’s a bigger target on their backs in the public eye in terms of officiating.

  7. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) - May 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Gosh, Haslem was only going for the ball. The superfans here told me so. What gives?

  8. jagwar73 - May 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Dwyane Wade=Mr. Cheap Shot

  9. rodge1 - May 24, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    @trickybastard

    Ira Winderman writes for Sun Sentinel which is a newspaper. Thanks brainiac

    • TheJStyles - May 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

      This isn’t the Sun Sentinel..

  10. jh4prez - May 24, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    Something had to be done.i wish a lesser player would have done it.

  11. rodge1 - May 24, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    @TheJStyles

    Another brilliant observation. You’re just as creative as Winderman. Very honorable of you to defend your boyfriend too.

    • davidly - May 24, 2012 at 8:24 AM

      I’m gonna do something that I’d like to think is beneath me, by saying here, now: You are a classic example of what one calls a “pussy”.

    • thestudiokida - May 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      There’s a reply button, you imbecile. This isn’t twitter.

  12. truthhurtstoo - May 24, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    talk about a flop- the pacers are nothing but a bunch of weak minded whiners.

  13. rodge1 - May 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    @thestudiokida

    I post how I please crybaby. Now go get your shine-box!!!!

  14. rodge1 - May 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    @thestudiokida

    FYI, there is no ‘reply’ button on the phone app. That’s how I use this site because my computer is for porn only… Imbecile

  15. trueballs - May 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    No comment reply button on the iPad app..probably the iPhone too

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