|Updated: No penalty for Perk||05.09.09 at 2:18 pm ET|
Update: The verdict is in from the NBA and there will be no suspension for Kendrick Perkins for Game 4 against the Magic, ESPN’s Chris Sheridan reports.
Sheridan reports that NBA will leave the Flagrant 1 call as it stands, which means Perkins will be in the lineup for Game 4.
The Celtics opted not to practice Saturday, and instead conducted a film session and walk-through at the team hotel in downtown Orlando. Topic number one on everyone’s mind was Perkins’s status after he was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul for hitting Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus up high during Friday’s Game 3.
“I didn’t even know who it was,” Perkins said. “I was just trying to get through a pick. It wasn’t like I saw Pietrus and tried to hit him with an elbow. It wasn’t nothing like that.”
The Magic have already had two players suspended during the playoffs. Dwight Howard was out for Game 6 of their first round series when he hit Philly Sam Delambert with an elbow and Rafer Alston was suspended for Game 3 of this series. LA’s Derek Fisher was suspended for Friday’s Game 3 of the Lakers-Rockets series, and all this has Doc Rivers more than a little ticked off.
“I’m so sick of this whole flagrant foul crap,” Rivers said. “It’s bugging the hell out of me, I’ve got to tell you. It’s like we’re trying to find ways to get guys out of the game. It’s everywhere. Ron Artest got thrown out (Friday) for a foul they might not even call, and he got thrown out of the game! I know it’s for a good purpose. We’re trying to clean this up, but gosh, we’ve got to get playing basketball.”
It should be noted that Rivers didn’t think Alston should have been suspended. For his part Perkins remains hopeful that the league won’t suspend him.
“I don’t think anybody’s going out there trying to hurt somebody,” Perkins said. “It’s just a physical game. It’s not like guys are out there trying to fight or anything. We just need to be able to play and leave it alone. I’m just trying to play my game. What’s going to happen is going to happen. If they act, then they act. I’m not going to worry about it and just go out and play hard.”
Saturday’s ruling was a huge break for the depleted Celtics. The big man has done a terrific job playing Howard straight-up and without Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe, the job would have fallen to Big Baby Davis and Mikki Moore.
“We are physical,” Rivers said. “And we have to be physical. We’ve got to be smart, but we’ve got to be physical.”
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