MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the Miami Heat prepare for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, there’s a good chance one of the Heat’s key pieces won’t be available for the team in that game.
Heat catalyst center Chris Andersen tangled with Indiana Pacers power forward Tyler Hansbrough early in the second quarter. The two have been going at it during the conference finals and things almost got really ugly.
Andersen dropped a shoulder as the two were coming back up the court and knocked Hansbrough to the floor. Andersen continued standing where Hansbrough was and then got face to face with Andersen at which point Andersen shoved Hansbrough with two hands.
Both players were assessed a technical foul and Andersen was hit with a flagrant 1 foul as well. Many thought Andersen should have been ejected from the game for his actions. As soon as Andersen shoved Hansbrough, the Pacers coaches immediately got in front of the bench players and head coach Frank Vogel came on the court to separate the two players.
The two teams have almost been at the others’ throat multiple times, but to the benefit of both squads the teams have shown good restraint until Andersen’s incident.
If Andersen is suspended for Game 6, the Heat will lose a key defensive player and offensive sparkplug. Andersen has yet to miss a field goal in the Eastern Conference Finals and throughout the season has given the Heat a lift off the bench.
Without Andersen, it’s possible the Heat will have to go with a rotation of Udonis Haslem, Chris Bosh, and possibly Joel Anthony or Rashard Lewis to try to handle the Pacers’ impressive front court of Paul George, David West, and Roy Hibbert.