Thursday, May 27, 2010
Perkins won't be suspended for Game 6
By Chris Forsberg
The NBA on Thursday rescinded one of the two technical fouls assessed to Celtics center Kendrick Perkins in Boston's loss to Orlando in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night, meaning Perkins will be available to play in Friday's Game 6.
The NBA took back the second of the two technicals, which occurred with 36.1 seconds remaining in the first half and resulted in Perkins' automatic ejection. Referee Eddie F. Rush tagged Perkins with the technical for arguing a foul call.
That call had also given Perkins seven technical fouls in the playoffs, which by league rules resulted in an automatic one-game suspension. The rescinding of the technical left Perkins at six, which makes him eligible for Game 6 but nevertheless leaves him on the threshold of a suspension.
Perkins picked up his first technical Wednesday for what appeared to be an inadvertent elbow to the body of Marcin Gortat in the first half. Both players were assessed with technicals.
The ruling by the NBA has to come as a relief to the Celtics, who face the possibility of playing Game 6 without forward Glen Davis, who suffered a concussion Wednesday.
The NBA also upgraded Paul Pierce's foul on Magic guard J.J. Redick with 8:12 remaining in the fourth quarter to a flagrant foul 1. Pierce appeared to push Redick after fouling him.
Perkins wasn't in the locker room following the game, but Rivers expressed his dismay at the technical calls on his behalf.
"I didn't think he deserved either one, but he got them," Rivers said. "You know what happens, it's amazing. We talked about this before the game, the double technical thing. Perk was bending down, picking the ball up, and got a tech for being around. I don't know how he got that tech.
"The other tech, listen, when you're arguing, it was awful quick, but they called it. I did think Eddie Rush realized once he called it, he couldn't rescind the tech because he forgot they had given him the other one. I don't think Perk would have gotten that one, but that happens.
"Listen, we've put ourselves in that position, and like I told our guys, you can't make any excuses. If they don't stand, then somebody else just has to step forward for you and that's just the way it is."
Even Gortat seemed uncertain if the first call warranted a technical for either party.
"I was trying to listen to what [Pierce] was saying because he was complaining about something," Gortat said. "I know that Perkins got the technical foul for an elbow, he elbowed me in the chest. It was in the middle of the game, it was OK."
So was the double-technical justified?
"That's a referee's decision," Gortat said. "I don't have anything to say about it. We knew it was a pretty tough referee [crew], so it's OK."
Perkins, who didn't earn his first technical until Game 5 of a first-round triumph over the Miami Heat, has now been tagged as part of five double technicals, the majority coming in the conference semifinals when it often got heated between him and Shaquille O'Neal.
"I have talked to him," Rivers said before Wednesday's game. "The double technical is what's getting most guys in trouble. The flagrants, I can understand, if you had a ton of glaring flagrants, at some point, you should get suspended. Or if you have a ton of techs for arguing with the refs, just plain back-and-forth with the refs. But the double-technical thing has to be resolved. That's where two players, getting physical, and officials are just trying to clean the game up. The easier way is the double-technical, it calms the game down.
"If you look at Kendrick, four of them are [double-technicals]. Those are the ones we have to figure out a better way. I'm a typical guy -- I don't have a solution, but I can point out the problem."
The Celtics have been assessed a whopping 20 technical fouls this postseason, continuing a trend of donations to the league that happened often during the regular season.
Perkins finished with 15 technical fouls for the 2009-10 regular season, tied with Dwight Howard for the most in the league and one shy of the mark when one-game suspensions begin.