Rondo foul, flagrant or playoff foul?

Last night in yet another overtime game between the Bulls and the Celtics there was a controversial play at the end of the game.  As the overtime was winding down and the Bulls down two, they in bounded the ball.  Brad Miller was wide open and drove hard to the rack.  Out of no where comes Rajon Rollerskating Rondo, with no visible play on the ball.  He intentionally fouled Miller to prevent the basket and in doing so decked Miller across the face drawing blood and possibly knocking a tooth out.

What a cheap foul....

What a cheap foul....

In the replay you could clearly see Rondo had no play on the ball.  His intention was to prevent Miller from making the basket.  In doing so, all he could do was rape him across the face.  Personally I think it should have been a flagrant foul.  If you look at the definition of a flagrant foul it follows as.  A flagrant foul-penalty (1) is unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.

When the league talks about types of flagrant fouls they ask if the player was going for the ball or the body.  Truly in this instance Rondo was going for the body, due to the fact that the ball was no where near his arm or the reach of his arm.  Boston dodged a bullet last night and Miller should have shot 3 free throws and the ball.  One for the flagrant, two for the shot, and then the ball for the flagrant.

Looking back several months ago, Trevor Ariza got ejected out of a game in which Portland was blowing the Lakers out.  Rudy Fernandez had a fast break, and Trevor playing the way Trevor does went all out to block the ball.  The end result as we all know is that Fernandez had to be carted off of the court and Trevor was ejected.  When Trevor made this play, he got part of the ball.  Granted, Miller did not need to be carted off the court, possibly because he is more manly, but Rondo should have gotten that flagrant.

I know that it does not change the fact that Boston won, and frankly I could care less on who wins this series.  Its great to see a new young team on the rise, and the old beat up defending champions struggling to make it out of the first round.  I would just like the NBA to make consistent calls.  If Kobe gets a flagrant foul for following through on a jumper, (last year) and hitting a guy in the face on the way down, then Rondo clearly needs a flagrant for that play last night.

As the video shows he clearly went for Miller’s head.


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