After dropping Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Chicago Bulls at home, the heavily favored Miami Heat were determined to strike back in Game 2. They did that by prevailing 115-78, but the real story was chippy play that led to nine technical fouls being called.
Officials whistled the Bulls for technical fouls on six occasions, including two each against Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, which resulted in them being ejected. The Heat earned three in their own right, but it was clear that the Bulls were the frustrated team on the wrong end of a blowout.
Not surprisingly, punishments are beginning to trickle down from the league office as the Heat and Bulls prepare to play Game 3 in Chicago on Friday night. There haven't been any suspensions announced yet, but one member of each team has been disciplined.
According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Gibson has been fined $25,000 for verbal abuse of a game official.
Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt
"@NBAPR: CHI's Taj Gibson Fined $25k for verbal abuse of a game official during game on May 8."2013-5-10 16:34:34
This likely stems from Gibson's ejection, as he could be heard hurling obscenities. It won't affect Gibson's Game 3 status, but perhaps it will cause him to be a bit more mindful of his actions moving forward.
The league made a more significant determination regarding Heat point guard Mario Chalmers. He committed a hard foul against Noah during the third quarter, but officials did not call it a flagrant. That ruling has been changed, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
NBA official tells Sun Sentinel that Mario Chalmers shot to Noah neck in Game 1 upgraded to Flagrant 1.2013-5-10 16:57:17
Although a "Flagrant 1" is the lesser of the two flagrant calls, it could come into play moving forward. According to the NBA's 2012-13 playoff flagrant guidelines, a Flagrant 1 is worth one point on a player's record. Three points result in an automatic one-game suspension, so Chalmers could be in danger of missing a game if he commits a Flagrant 2 or two more Flagrant 1 fouls.
No other discipline has been handed down at this point, but keep checking back for updates on potential punishments.
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