Let's start here: The play you see above — Paul Pierce setting a screen on Dwyane Wade, then exchanging some heated words with him — is not enough to merit ejection from any basketball game, let alone Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Taken alone and on its own merits, the choice to run Pierce for a hard pick and some extracurricular conversation, no matter how salty, would be horrendous. That decision would be worthy of the scorn that was heaped on referee Ed Malloy in the moments after the controversial fourth-quarter play.
The thing is, you can't take this play alone and on its own merits, because Pierce didn't get chucked for it alone and on its own merits.
The double-technical called on both Pierce and Wade for their little tete-a-tete was the Boston Celtics captain's second T of the game, coming less than a minute after the first, which he earned for headrubbing/facenuzzling Miami Heat sharpshooter James Jones after a hard foul on a Pierce jumper. (Check out a videoRead More »from Video: Paul Pierce loses his cool and gets ejected from Game 1