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NBA suspends Birdman for Game 6; Spoelstra forced to adjust

Another Game 6 against Indiana; another Heat big suspended for mistaking Tyler Hansbrough for a sparing partner.

Chris "Birdman" Andersen is suspended for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday at Indianapolis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Andersen and Hansbrough were both assessed flagrant fouls during Game for their scuffle but, after a review of the incident, the NBA upgraded Andersen's penalty to a flagrant foul-2 and rescinded Hansbrough's flagrant foul-1.

From the NBA's press release: 

"Andersen knocked Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough to the floor, escalated the altercation by shoving Hansbrough, and resisted efforts to bring the altercation to an end. The incident occurred with 9:02 remaining in the second quarter of Miami's 90-79 win over the Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena."

If you recall, Udonis Haslem was suspended for Game 6 of the Heat's 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Pacers for clubbing Hansbrough in Game 5. Andersen's suspension was all but a certainty after David Stern told NBC Sports Radio on Friday afternoon that he thought Andersen should have been ejected from Game 5. The NBA made it official later in the day.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will now have to get creative with his lineup to replace Andersen, who was 15 of 15 from the field through the first five games of the series and provided defensive energy off the bench. Joel Anthony could be an option or Spoelstra could go small, using Shane Battier in Andersen's role and shifting Mike Miller in the Heat's second rotation.


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