No regrets for Heat’s Chris Andersen after flagrant foul and suspension
Chris “Birdman” Andersen stood by his Game 5 flagrant foul that drew a one-game suspension as the Heat prepare to face the Pacers without him in Game 6 on Saturday night.
The NBA suspended Andersen on Friday for one game without pay after a league office review determined Andersen “knocked” Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough to the court, “escalated the altercation by shoving” him, and “resisted efforts” to end the altercation, which occurred during the second quarter of Game 5.
The Associated Press reports Andersen did not have any second thoughts about the Game 5 incident or his upcoming absence in Game 6.
“It doesn’t matter at this point,” Andersen said when asked what led to the first-half skirmish in Game 5. “It was the heat of the moment. A guy pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I let it get to me. I can’t regret anything. It is what it is, bro. At the time it was a flagrant one, now it’s a flagrant two.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters he addressed the flagrant foul and the fallout with Andersen but refused to divulge any specifics.
“We’ve moved on and anything now is about getting this done tonight,” he said.
Andersen was initially assessed a flagrant foul 1 after an in-game video review of the play by the officials, but that was upgraded to a flagrant foul 2 by the league office. Double technical fouls were also assessed to Andersen and Hansbrough, although the league office rescinded the latter technical upon review of the altercation. Both players were allowed to remain in the game.
Hansbrough, who was blindsided by Andersen, said Sunday he remains confused by the whole situation, according to the Associated Press.
“There’s nothing I do differently against this team, I just come out and play my style,” he said after the Pacers’ shootaround. “This one, I’m not sure what happened. It’s just playoff intensity, I guess.”
Spoelstra is expected to turn to Joel Anthony in Andersen’s absence. Anthony hasn’t played more than three minutes in a game against the Pacers and is averaging 0.3 points and 0.8 rebounds in 3 minutes per game in the 2013 playoffs.
Andersen, 34, signed with the Heat in January and posted averages of 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game this season. He’s averaging 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game so far in the playoffs.
The Heat lead the Pacers 3-2 in the series.