DALLAS -- Eduardo Najera is one flagrant foul away from an automatic suspension.
The Mavs' enforcer was called for a flagrant 1 after poking Tony Parker in the eye while enforcing his personal playoff no-layup rule during the second quarter of Game 5. That came on the heels of a flagrant 2 in Game 4, when he yanked Manu Ginobili down from behind with a WWE-style neckwrap 47 seconds after checking into the game.
That gives him three flagrant foul points during the playoffs. Another flagrant 1 would result in a one-game suspension. Najera would be suspended two games if he's called for another flagrant 2.
"I just can't go wild like I usually can," Najera said. "Just pick and choose my spots. Obviously, I'm still going to have my rule, no lay-up rule. I'm sure they have it as well. But, you know I just have to be a little smarter than that."
However, Najera contends that his hack on Parker shouldn't have been called a flagrant foul. He noted that Parker initiated the contact and that the rake across the eyes was unintentional.
"They do flop a lot," Najera said. "He was on the floor like he got shot or something. It makes it look worse than it really is."
The league automatically reviews every flagrant foul and has the option of reclassifying it. Whether that happens with the Parker poke or not, Najera is prepared to play the enforcer role for the rest of the series, potential suspension be darned.
"I’m not worried about that," Najera said. "If it happens, it happens. We’ve got to stay aggressive."