Goran Dragic’s first game against the Phoenix Suns was bound to be contentious. His departure from the desert wasn’t exactly seamless, and both Phoenix and the Miami Heat are fighting for their playoff lives.
Was it really necessary for Markieff Morris to do this to The Dragon, though?
Morris was assessed flagrant-2 foul following video review, earning an automatic ejection. And while we think that punishment was a bit steep considering only the foul’s severity, the officials’ decision made sense given proper context. Basically, Zach Zarba and crew were trying to ensure tension felt even before opening tip wouldn’t boil over.
But there was nothing they could do.
Just minutes later, Hassan Whiteside dunked over Alex Len and threw an “unintentional” straight-arm towards the face of his opponent. Naturally, the Suns’ threw Whiteside to the ground with a forceful left hand. What Miami’s reclamation project did next seems far more fit for the ring than the hardwood.
Care to enlighten us on the technical aspects of Whiteside’s form, wrestling fans? It certainly did the job – Len went right to the floor after a few staggered steps backwards.
Fortunately, only the two instigators were actually involved in the fracas. Both Whiteside and Len were given technical fouls and ejected from the game.
Not that either player’s presence would’ve mattered much anyway; Dragic was on a mission. Limited by foul trouble from the opening tip, the Slovenian lefty erupted for 10 points in just over a two-minute span late in the fourth quarter that pushed Miami’s 10-point lead to 19.
The Heat ended up beating the Suns 115-98 in a game that included six technicals, two flagrants, and three ejections. Dragic finished with 21 points in only 14 minutes of play.
Were you not entertained? With the likely exception of all those affiliated with Phoenix, it sure seemed like everyone at American Airlines Arena definitely was.