Barnes, Nash pushed to bench by the league

The league showed no mercy on Barnes and Nash. (AP/Jeremy York)

The league showed no mercy on Barnes and Nash. (AP/Jeremy York)

I’m still scratching my head about the suspensions and fines from Wednesday’s Suns-Rockets fight.

Matt Barnes and Skip to my Lou were suspended two games, Steve Nash one and Shaq and T-Mac were both slapped on the wrist with fines of $35,000 and $25,000, respectively, chump change for them.

It’s really strange that Barnes would be suspended two games for an infraction he wasn’t even whistled a foul for. How could the refs miss that in the first place? It was kind of obvious.

If Barnes gets the foul he deserved on this play nothing would have happened at the moment, although maybe the Rockets would have retaliated later.

Here’s Barnes’ take, as told to the Arizona Republic: “It’s just overblown. They went above and beyond the call of duty here. They didn’t call a foul in my situation. We got in a little pushing match and I get suspended for two games? Rafer gets two games and Rafer threw two punches at Steve.

“Basically, what they’re saying is you might as well throw two punches because you got the same suspension as someone who threw two punches. Steve comes and tries to break it up and gets thrown to the ground and he gets suspended and T-Mac doesn’t get anything. Ridiculous.”

But if you’re suspending Nash, which I disagree with because he didn’t hit anybody, you’ve got to suspend T-Mac for more than escalating things with the push of Nash. At that point an argument could be made for a Shaq suspension, which makes more sense than Nash’s since he moved the pile and pushed T-Mac to the ground.



In any case, the Suns will be extremely shorthanded tonight when Barnes and Nash serve their punishments because Leandro Barbosa left the team as well after his mother died late Thursday night.

Barbosa is known to be extremely close with his mother, so you’ve really got to feel for what he’s going through and know it’s more important than basketball.

With those three players out, we can expect a very heavy dose of Goran Dragic tonight and maybe even a rare touch of Sean Singletary because he’s a true point guard. Grant Hill, who has gone scoreless in his last two games, will need to step up also as the likely starter in place of Barnes.

At least the Kings, who have won four of five after a 0-4 start, will be without star guard Kevin Martin after he sprained his ankle earlier in the week to make this more of a fair fight, but there will be no difference of opinion on how the Suns can best beat the Kings.

They will feed Amare, feed Shaq and feed Amare and Shaq some more with their three players best-suited for a fast-breaking game unavailable.

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