Miami Heat forward Chris "The Birdman" Andersen has been suspended for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals following an ugly incident with Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough inThursday's Game 5 win in South Beach, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Miami forward Chris Andersen suspended for Game 6, NBA says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 31, 2013
In a strange altercation following a Miami missed basket, Andersen delivered a hip check to Hansbrough as both players were heading toward the other end of the floor, knocking Hansbrough to the ground and getting a rise out of the fourth-year role player.
What followed was an awkward staredown between the two players that ended when Andersen shoved Hansbrough and was pushed away by the official.
I like the "Birdman" on Miami, but there's no way he should NOT have been ejected from this game.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 31, 2013
Andersen is averaging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in a little over 18 minutes per game for the Heat in their series against the Pacers. The 34-year-old veteran scored just four points in 18 minutes in Miami's Game 5 victory, but is an incredible 15-of-15 from the field for the series.
Does Birdman deserve to be suspended for Game 6?
If it's confirmed that Andersen will be suspended for Game 6, the Indiana Pacers would have a mighty advantage on the interior on Saturday night. The Pacers have already dominated the Heat inside offensively and on the boards through the first five games of the series, and without Anderson's 6'10" frame there to help out, Miami will desperately need other players to step up.
Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT. The Miami Heat lead the series 3-2.