P.J. Tucker earned a personal, technical and ejection Monday in the Phoenix Suns’ 112-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. In the second half, Griffin went after an offensive rebound and took down Tucker to earn a forearm shove below the head. Excuse the homer-ish analysis, but unless the pixels lie, Griffin’s head jerking back was not because Tucker threw a punch — semantically we could debate what a punch is, I suppose.
Griffin wasn’t penalized for the play but fouled out minutes later as the Suns cut in to a 25-point deficit but couldn’t pull off the comeback.
It could be interesting to see how the NBA handles this situation. Clearly, the league office already has eyes on Tucker, who earned two flopping violations in consecutive games earlier this season. But will they deem this as a punch? The bets are that it will.
And how will the NBA see Griffin’s involvement? The Clippers forward certainly had some unnecessary jabs of his right arm that didn’t connect with any Suns player at the 13-second mark of the above video.
Look to the Suns for an example of the borderline penalties for scuffles such as this. Marcus Morris earned a $25,000 fine earlier this season for escalating an altercation with Lakers guard Nick Young, and rookie Alex Len was fined $15,000 for the flagrant on Young that began that altercation.