The Golden State Warriors return back to Oracle Arena for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Although they would have preferred to close out the series in Houston, after seeing Steph Curry hit the ground hard, they are just content he didn’t suffer a major injury.
The Rockets have found some life and that was in large part due to their spectacular shooting in Game 4. At one point they were 8 of 9 from long distance, which is why they scored 45 points in the first quarter.
Houston might have a problem in Game 5. Dwight Howard was given a flagrant foul 1 after he made contact with Andrew Bogut’s face with his elbow. Some were arguing that is should have been a flagrant 2, which would have cause Howard to be ejected and because this is not his first incident, he could have been suspended for Game 5.
The league has the authority to change a call that was made during the game. After seeing the incidents that involved Al Horford and J.R. Smith, it’s surprising Howard was not kicked out of the game. According to Ken Berger of CBS, Andrew Bogut doubts the NBA will suspend Howard:
Informed that Dwight would be suspended for Game 5 if flagrant is upgraded, Andrew Bogut said: “I doubt that’s going to happen, then.”
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) May 26, 2015
The NBA needs to be consistent. One player can’t be given a pass and another one be suspended, it’s simply isn’t fair. Bogut, like Howard is a defensive force in the paint, but you don’t see him throwing elbows while running back in transition. In this case, Bogut is probably right, it is highly unlikely the NBA suspends one of its stars as the Rockets are facing elimination.
After all that’s happened this postseason, the right thing to do would be to suspend Howard. He made contact above the neck, just like Horford and Smith. The Atlanta Hawks could have won Game 3 if Horford would not have been ejected, but now they are in danger of getting swept.