Chris Andersen must sit Game 6
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NBA suspended Miami Heat center Chris Andersen for Saturday's Game 6 against the Indiana Pacers after an altercation with Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough in Game 5 on Thursday night.
Don't Worry, Miami
The numbers say the Heat are a better team offensively and defensively this series when Chris Andersen is on the bench, as well as just a tad better on the boards. Here's a look at the Heat with Andersen on/off the floor per 48 minutes this series:
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Without apparently being provoked, Andersen body-checked Hansbrough to the floor after Heat teammate Norris Cole missed a layup in transition during the second quarter of the Heat's eventual 90-79 victory, which gave them a 3-2 series lead.
Andersen then confronted Hansbrough, bumped him in the chest and struggled with official Marc Davis when Davis came to break up the altercation.
Officials gave technical fouls to both players and called Andersen for a flagrant foul 1 for the initial altercation. NBA vice president Stu Jackson upgraded the foul to a flagrant foul 2 and added the suspension without pay because Andersen "escalated the altercation by shoving Hansbrough, and resisted efforts to bring the altercation to an end," according to a league release.
Additionally, the technical given to Hansbrough was rescinded by the league.
Andersen was not made available to the media after Thursday's game or after the Heat's practice Friday.
Earlier Friday, in an interview with NBC Sports Radio, NBA commissioner David Stern condemned Andersen's actions and said officials should have ejected him. Stern told NBC Sports Radio "a serious review of his activities is called for."
Andersen's suspension is a significant blow to the Heat, who have struggled with the Pacers' size in the series. Andersen is averaging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in the five games and is a perfect 15-for-15 from the field. He had four points and four rebounds in Game 5.
This also is the second consecutive year a Heat big man has been suspended for Game 6 of a playoff series against the Pacers, and the second time it involved a hit on Hansbrough.
Last season, Heat forward Udonis Haslem was suspended for Game 6 in Indiana after a blow to Hansbrough during Game 5 in Miami.