The NBA has officially suspended Derek Fisher from game three of the Rockets/Lakers series Friday night for his hard foul on Luis Scola.It also has given Kobe Bryant a Flagrant 1 foul for his elbow on Ron Artest.
None of this is a surprise — after a game as intense as that one the NBA League Office likes to cool tempers down a bit and a suspension can do that. Fisher is the obvious choice for making the obvious retaliatory foul.
One possession after Scola had gotten into a verbal battle with Lamar Odom and Luke Walton after a foul, Fisher fouled Scola hard as he came up to set a pick, knocking him to the floor. It was really more of a hockey shoulder check than anything normally seen on a basketball court.
If it is a one game suspension, Fisher will sit and likely Shannon Brown, or maybe Jordan Farmar, will get the start. Both will see minutes at the point, as will cold-shooting Sasha Vujacic. Look for Phil Jackson to test he waters with what is working then go to the hot hand. Farmar had some rough moments, but overall had his best game in six weeks in game two.
While fans in Houston have been calling for the suspension of Kobe Bryant for an elbow to Ron Artest, he gets the retroactive Flagrant One. Which really is a fancy way of saying he is going to get a fine. But you can’t suspend someone for fighting for rebounding position. Artest was pushing Kobe in the head, Kobe was trying to get Artest off him. Welcome to playoff basketball.
All of this is going to make game three in Houston very fun. We'd suggest bringing the brass knuckles, but the refs are likely going to be calling this one mighty close.