With less than 20 seconds remaining in Tuesday night's game, and the Heat leading by 11, Rajon Rondo grabbed Dwyane Wade around the neck as the Miami guard drove to the bucket. This drew the ire of Heat fans, and Rondo was slapped with a flagrant foul.
According to ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh, Wade didn't appreciate Rondo's hard foul:
Dwyane Wade on Rondo's flagrant: "It was a punk play. He clotheslined me."— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) October 31, 2012
It's no secret that these two teams don't like each other. As two of the Eastern Conference's better teams, every game matters when they face off. That leads to feuds and emotional play across the board. Adding to that is Ray Allen's move from Boston to Miami in the offseason.
Rondo's foul would have been excusable, perhaps, if it was a close game and the end result still in doubt. But the game was obviously over, and the extracurricular activity wasn't necessary—though not terribly surprising, either.
The Celtics franchise has a lot of pride, and they got beat decisively by a rival. Rondo may have been sending the message that his team isn't going to lay down to the defending NBA champions. Or, it may have been retaliation for a harsh foul from Wade earlier in the game.
Either way, I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this one. It's always must-watch television when these two teams take the court. Now there's added incentive to tune in each and every time.