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Flagrant downgraded for J.O'Neal

5/2/2011

MIAMI -- The NBA downgraded Jermaine O'Neal's flagrant-1 foul from Sunday's Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat, classifying it as merely a personal foul after video review Monday.

Miami's James Jones also had his technical foul rescinded for his part in a double technical with Boston's Paul Pierce with 7:59 to play in the fourth quarter. Jones did have the foul that precipitated a dust-up with Pierce upgraded to a flagrant-1 after video review.

The league indicated there were no other changes to the infractions handed out Sunday.

O'Neal's flagrant led to a five-point possession for Miami and helped the Heat stem a third-quarter Boston rally. As Celtics coach Doc Rivers indicated Monday, the changes in the classification will do little to aid his team moving forward.

"I didn’t think [O'Neal's foul] was a flagrant, or if it was, then the other ones were too," Rivers said of Jones' foul and another by Dwyane Wade for charging hard into a Pierce screen a short time later, which led to Pierce's ejection after another double technical.

"That’s the only thing I’m saying. If Jermaine's [foul] was a flagrant, then the other two were. If Jermaine’s [foul] is taken away, the other two are not. I’m not a big fan of the flagrant thing, I think I’ve made that clear the last five years. But that’s the rules, that’s not going to change. But I don’t like that stuff and I don’t care really."

Pressed on the issue, Rivers shrugged it all off.

"Listen, honestly, it’s over, I could care less," he said. "We’re far more concerned about preparing our team for Game 2 than we are with whether the league is going to take away a flagrant or give a flagrant. It will have no impact on Game 2."