The San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks face a pivotal Game 5 matchup on Wednesday in their first-round series. Unfortunately for the No. 8-seed Mavs, they'll be without a key player as they attempt the upset.
On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Dallas big man DeJuan Blair has been suspended without pay for Game 5. Blair was ejected with 3:08 remaining in regulation of Monday's Game 4 for kicking Spurs center Tiago Splitter in the head after both players fell to the ground. Take a look below:
As noted by the Associated Press, Blair told reporters that he did not kick Splitter intentionally. Splitter said he originally thought that was the case but changed his mind after watching the video. Regardless of the severity or intent, it's no surprise that the NBA suspended a player for kicking another in the head.
Blair's stats don't jump out as essential to the Mavericks — in the series' first four games, he's averaging 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds over 9.3 minutes — but he was a major part of the team's second-half comeback in their eventual Game 4 loss.His His energy, finishing, and rebounding will all be missed.
- - - - - - -