Looks like two streaks were snapped Sunday for the Blazers. They’re only happy about one of them.
Andre Miller has been suspended for one game for “making excessive and unnecessary contact with Blake Griffin of the Clippers,” announced Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations, on Monday. The suspension will end Miller’s 632 consecutive-games-played streak, which is the longest among active players.
What Jackson meant by “unnecessary contact” was Miller waiting for Griffin to get set on defense, taking off on a full sprint from half court and barreling the Clippers’ power forward into the ground midway through the fourth quarter.
Griffin, known for his generally stoic disposition, grew irate after the football-like hit and started jawing Miller’s way. Yet no foul was called. Somehow, someway, none of the three referees on the court saw the collision.
But that didn’t stop the NBA from reviewing the film the next day, then assessing Miller with a Flagrant Foul, Penalty two. Not that the point guard was particularly remorseful.
“I actually wanted to get him harder. But he knew it was coming, because he got me good — actually a couple of times,” Miller told the Oregonian after the game, making reference to being pushed in the back. “I just remember getting hit pretty hard under the basket, so an opportunity was there. If I got a flagrant foul, cool.
But I’m surprised they didn’t even see it. But there’s an opportunity there, you have to send a message.”
Miller’s wasn’t the only suspension to come out of Sunday’s contentious contest.
Clippers forward Brian Cook will miss the next two games after shoving Joel Przybilla to the ground as the Blazers’ center was going up for an open dunk. The play led to a scrum that included the Clippers’ Baron Davis shoving Portland’s Nic Batum. All in all, the game featured five technical fouls (three assessed to Los Angeles, two to Portland) and three flagrant fouls (one for the Clippers and two for the Blazers.)
Blazers coach Nate McMillan reacted to Miller’s suspension Monday — not condoning his point guard’s actions but recognizing events leading up to his pummeling Clippers forward Blake Griffin.
“There were some plays leading up to the play. Andre was hit twice by Griffin and there were no calls,” McMillan said. “You gotta keep your head in situations like that. Andre just reacted, and that happened…now we lose a player for the game, and that’s really huge.”
McMillan was then asked about Miller’s postgame quotes.
“Again, if you get hit twice, you’re going to respond,” he said. “The players in a situation like that, you gotta be smart on the floor, but sometimes things happen, but it’s not always the right way. He reacted to getting hit twice by a big guy”
McMillan said he wasn’t yet sure who would be starting in Miller’s place against Phoenix tomorrow, but mentioned how he “might have to look at our young guys,” which would include Patty Mills, who was recently promoted to backup point guard.
The Lakers’ Derek Fisher becomes the NBA’s new active consecutive-games-played leader (443).
Matt Calkins can be contacted at 360-735-4528 or firstname.lastname@example.org