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Dallas’ DeJuan Blair suspended for Game 5 due to kick to Tiago Splitter’s head

Apr 29, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

Mavericks fans may want to argue it was not intentional, he was just trying to get untangled after a fall, but the NBA league office sees it differently. And now Dallas’ path to a crucial Game 5 win just got more difficult.

Dallas big man DeJuan Blair has been suspended for Game 5 of the team’s series against San Antonio for a fourth-quarter kick to Tiago Splitter‘s head, the league announced on Tuesday.

Blair was big in Dallas’ dramatic Game 4 comeback at home, scoring 12 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. His energy on both ends of the court was key for the Mavs, and when he was ejected for the foul and kick to the head with 3 minutes left in regulation the Mavs could not sustain their momentum and pick up a win.

It was clear Blair’s foot contacted Splitter’s head, however he said after the game it was unintentional. Intended or not, the league is going to frown on kicks to player’s heads.

  1. jzone954 - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    Stupid move.

  2. apkyletexas - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    I’ve seen this many times in the playoffs – the team loses two games due to 1 stupid move. Dallas better have a good plan B for handling their substitutions. Duncan, Splitter and Diaw give the Spurs a lot of height and scoring power down low – probably too much for Dalembert to handle by himself.

  3. azarkhan - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Like most Spurs fans, I loved DeJuan Blair when he was in San Antonio and I wish the Spurs had kept him. He and Manu in particular seemed to work well together.

    • apkyletexas - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      He wasn’t getting hardly any minutes his last season in San Antonio because of the improved play of Splitter and the trade for Diaw, so he made it known he wanted out of San Antonio. I think the Spurs did him right by letting him go sign with a contending team.

      I was thrilled when he first came to the Spurs as he was a legend at Pitt, which is my favorite basketball U.

  4. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Adam Silver is on the warpath!

    • witchrunner - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      Actually, he’s showing his racism here. Clearly Blair is racist kicking the head of a white guy while he’s on the floor. Should have been banned for life. But, being black, he only gets on game. I guess the NBA standard is that it’s much better to misbehave with brutality on the court in full view of everyone than it is to have a private conversation with a girlfriend where you repeatedly deny your racist.

      Actually, if you put two plus two together, Magic put the girl up to it so that he could force the sale, to himself!

    • ranfan12 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:11 AM

      I appreciate your sarcasm kind sir

  5. casualcommenter - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    I completely supported him being ejected last game, but I think an additional game suspension is a bit too far.

    Splitter accidentally landed on Blair’s leg, Blair in retaliation committed an ejection-worthy foul by delivering a quick kick, and then immediately raised his hands and backed off.

    Again, I think that’s worthy of an ejection, but an ejection plus an additional game suspension seems a bit much. IMO, it wasn’t as bad as Josh McRoberts’ hard elbow to LeBron’s throat or LeBron’s elbow to Roy Hibbert’s head, neither of which resulted in suspensions.

  6. titansbro - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Lol @ the NBA. THAT gets you suspended for a PLAYOFF game? Really? It was clearly unintentional.

  7. thundercocck - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    The kick shouldn’t have been too painful anyway since Blair has no ACLs

  8. kavika6 - Apr 30, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Interesting that Blair “accidentally” kicked the guy that took his starting job last year.

  9. packergator - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Ain’t that a kick in the…never mind.

  10. calkinsrob - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    I didnt think the kick was intentional at all! I thought it was simply a reaction to the call. I dont think it warrants a suspension.

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