Nene Suspended for Game 4 of Wizards-Bulls Series for Grabbing Jimmy Butler

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2014

Referee Jason Phillips (23) moves to separate Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) and Washington Wizards forward Nene, right, from Brazil, in the second half of Game 3 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Friday, April 25, 2014, in Washington. Nene received a double technical and was ejected. The Bulls won 100-97. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon

After being ejected from Game 3 for fighting, Washington Wizards forward Nene will also miss Game 4, as the league suspended him on Saturday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports provided news of the suspension:

The veteran forward got into a skirmish with Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler during the fourth quarter of Game 3 in the Wizards' first-round series:

While it was a two-point game at the time of the altercation, the Bulls went on to win by a score of 100-97. This helped close the gap of the series to 2-1 in favor of the Wizards, a margin that seems even slimmer with Washington set to play Game 4 without one of its key starters.

Nene averaged 14.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during the regular season, but he was proving far more problematic for Chicago in the playoffs. Through the first three games of the series, the big man is averaging 17.0 points and 6.3 rebounds.

NBA analyst Charles Barkley certainly was not a fan of Nene losing his cool on the court, via Sean Highkin of Hardwood Paroxysm:

Meanwhile, Rachel Nichols of Turner Sports points out a parallel to Miami Heat star LeBron James, who maintained his cool after receiving a tough blow from Josh McRoberts in Miami's series against the Charlotte Bobcats:

Moving forward, the Wizards will have to try to find a way to replace Nene's production down low. Teammate Marcin Gortat is up to the challenge, via Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune:

Washington will likely turn to Trevor Booker to replace Nene in the starting lineup after the power forward started 45 games during the regular season. Veterans Drew Gooden and Al Harrington will likely see increased roles as well.

While the Wizards have a bit of breathing room with a 2-1 advantage in the series, they certainly do not want to give the momentum completely back to Bulls before they return to Chicago. As a result, everyone on the roster will have to do their part to make up for the absence of the suspended Nene.


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