Predicting Suspensions for Golden State Warriors-Indiana Pacers Brawl

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2013

Feb 26 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Officials try to separate a fight between Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) and Golden State Warriors center David Lee (10) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It's all fun and games until Roy Hibbert gets mad.

During the fourth quarter of the Indiana Pacers 108-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors, a scuffle of sorts broke out. Nothing major, as some would have us believe. Just some good ol' NHL-style tussling on an NBA stage.

As the video footage will show you, the fight broke out after Hibbert took exception to David Lee's physical post play. From there, players from both teams took turns participating in what was essentially a heaping pile of shoving.

And the referees recognized it for what it was, an illustrious pushing match. Aside from Hibbert's ejection, just a smattering of technicals were handed out. 

While that could be the end of it, we know all too well how serious the league is when it comes to on-court bouts. It seems inevitable that a few suspensions will be handed out.

To whom will they be given?

Time will tell, but for kicks, let's try and beat the clock.

Roy Hibbert

The man who started it all.

After deeming Lee's box-out tactics excessive (in fairness, it was more of a check than a box out), Hibbert shoved him. Hard. Lee shoved (shoulder-checked?) him back, and that pretty much ended their personal dispute.

But it wasn't the end for Hibbert.

I can't tell if he was back-pedaling or if the weight of Stephen Curry's "hug" was pushing him, but he wound up tossing Curry to the ground. It looks like his elbow may have even caught Steph's head.

Upon being forced to the edge of the stands, Hibbert removed himself from the festivities (or to admire his handiwork), which the NBA can and should take into account.

Still, the instigator isn't about to go untouched. I'd imagine he'll get at least a few games, but nothing that should derail Indiana's current streak of dominance.

Heck, the way Hibbert's playing, both he and the Pacers might welcome his removal from the lineup for a bit.

Prediction: Two-game suspension

David Lee

In the interest of full disclosure, the contact Lee invoked under the basket was excessive. But it definitely didn't warrant Hibbert's response.

Had Lee simply walked away from Hibbert at the beginning, the NBA would have no reason to take action against him. He retaliated with a forceful push of his own, though.

Immediately after said shove, however, he too removed himself from the debacle. After appearing to head back toward the bench, he returned to the mob and (halfheartedly) attempted to break it up.

Personally, I wouldn't penalize Lee at all. Ideally, he wouldn't have went at Hibbert, but his was a response, not the first intentional blow.

That said, I can't see the NBA allowing him to walk away unscathed.  The league doesn't condone fighting on any of its playgrounds.

Prediction: One-game suspension

David West

At first glance, it appears that David West is attempting to sift through the fray and remove and wrongdoers. A closer look shows us he was just pushing everyone and anyone.

Coaches, players—West didn't seem to care. He was just pushing. He also appeared to take a shot at Curry's head before stepping out of the scrum.

If you ask me, West's reaction actually seems worse than Hibbert's. He was so far removed from the play after being fouled that he showed up fashionably late to the battle royal.

It's as if West just strolled into the chaos and decided to infuse some of his own.

Unnecessary as his actions were, though, not even he was involved for very long. I'd be shocked if he gets more than a game.

Prediction: One-game suspension

Stephen Curry

What good would a 38-point performance be for Curry if he didn't have the opportunity to inflict any physical harm on his opponents?

Upon discovering there was a locker room style fray forming, Curry decided to take on Hibbert, a 7'2" behemoth who could break the sharpshooter in half.

While I admire Curry's ability to hang tough and protect his teammate, this Tyson Chandler-sized reaction was slightly excessive. Lee didn't need protecting, and even if he did, Curry's assault looked more like an intimate embrace between two friends.

And shouldn't Curry be more wary of his ankle issues? He's liable to re-aggravate said injury while walking down the street; it's a miracle nothing happened as he was sent down to the floor repeatedly.

I was actually surprised he only received a technical. If Hibbert was tossed, surely he should have been too.

Perhaps the refs thought he had suffered enough, though I'm not sure if the NBA will see it that way.

Prediction: One-game suspension

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson walking away from a fight happens about as frequently as Dwight Howard makes 2-of-2 at the foul line.

To the naked eye, Stephenson actually looked as if he was attempting to stifle the potency of this embellished wrestling match. Sure enough, such a perception only lasts so long.

Stephenson didn't do any substantial damage, but that wasn't from a lack of trying. 

Toward the tail end of the not-so-free-for-all, Stephenson could be found struggling to enter the joust. Much to his chagrin (save for a few misplaced pushes) he failed.

When all was said and done, though, Stephenson wasn't. He had to be held back and could be seen jawing to anyone who would listen.

Truthfully, I wouldn't be surprised if the league does nothing. I also wouldn't be surprised if he finds himself sidelined for a game either.

Prediction: One-game suspension

Klay Thompson

It's always the quiet ones.

Klay Thompson, like his backcourt buddy Curry, was lucky he wasn't ejected as well. He didn't appear to be involved, but he was actually the one who sent the dogfight into the stands.

Thompson meandered over, ever so innocently, before wrapping his entire self around Hibbert and flinging himself off, sending the big man stumbling into the crowd.

This was his only act of malice, but it was a contemptible one nonetheless. 

Upon further review and taking the NBA's zero-tolerance tendencies into consideration, I'm inclined to believe he'll miss some time.

Prediction: One-game suspension

Jarrett Jack

Jarrett Jack originally did the right thing, simply stepping between Lee and Hibbert. But he then apparently vowed (kidding) to avenge Lee's honor.

Golden State's guard eventually pursued Hibbert, getting some strong-armed pushes in amid the bedlam. He then ran around (somewhat aimlessly) attempting to get at the heart of the tiff. 

Like Stephenson, Jack failed, but not for a lack of trying. 

Save for Curry, Jack arguably appeared the most determined on the Warriors' behalf here. And I'm thinking that could cost him.

Prediction: One-game suspension

Honorable Mention

Paul George

Paul George didn't receive a technical for a reason. He was genuinely attempting to mitigate what had the potential to become a disaster.

The All-Star could be seen sorting his way through the fracas, attempting to displace any and all involved.

Suspending him would be ludicrous. If anything, he deserves a commendation for diminishing the significance of this frat boy-esque fight.

Prediction: No suspension

Andris Biedrins

Credit Andris Biedrins with being the only player who successfully quelled Curry's unrelenting attempt at inflicting some undersized pain.

Biedrins got behind Curry and saved him from getting pummeled any more than he already had.

Seriously, the dude deserves a raise.

What's that? He's earning $9 million this season?

Never mind then; a simple pat on the back will suffice.

Prediction: No suspension


    Report: Suns, Rivers Agree to Part Ways

    NBA logo

    Report: Suns, Rivers Agree to Part Ways

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Joerger Says Bagley/Fox Are the Next KD/Russ 🤔

    NBA logo

    Joerger Says Bagley/Fox Are the Next KD/Russ 🤔

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Suns Blow Out Knicks at MSG 😲

    NBA logo

    Suns Blow Out Knicks at MSG 😲

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Thunder Pick Up Donovan's Contract Option

    NBA logo

    Report: Thunder Pick Up Donovan's Contract Option

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report