Posted Apr 29 2009 8:29PM
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) -- The NBA said Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo won't be penalized for his hard foul on Chicago's Brad Miller in the closing seconds of Game 5.
NBA commissioner David Stern said Wednesday night in Atlanta before the Hawks-Miami Heat game that no flagrant foul call on Rondo was the right call.
"I was in Orlando, but I was reliably informed it was not a flagrant foul," Stern said. "Our referees do the best they can in these situations."
As result of the NBA's position, there will be no fine or suspension for Rondo or even flagrant foul points that could lead to a suspension if they accumulate.
With the Bulls trailing by two in the final seconds of overtime on Tuesday night, Miller had a clear path to the basket. But Rondo jumped and hit him across the face and the lay-in attempt sailed wide.
Though Rondo made contact with Miller above the shoulders, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said the play fell short of warranting a flagrant foul.
"We felt Rondo was making a basketball play and going for the ball after a blown defensive assignment by the Celtic team," Jackson said.
"In terms of the criteria that we use to evaluate a flagrant foul penalty one, generally we like to consider whether or not there was a windup, an appropriate level of impact and a follow-through. And with this foul, we didn't see a windup, nor did he follow through. So for that reason we're not going to upgrade this foul to a flagrant foul penalty one."
Miller missed the free throws that could have tied it, and the Celtics won 106-104 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.