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UPDATED: Pre-game Blog: Cavs vs. Hawks - Suspend Kobe?

By George Thomas Published: May 7, 2009

I'm sure some of you have seen the infamous Kobe Bryant elbow on Ron Artest from last night's Lakers-Rockets game.  But in case you haven't here:

Here's Artest's post-game reaction:

Neither Cavs Coach Mike Brown or Atlanta Coach Mike Woodson is prepared to say that Bryant should be suspended after being asked about it.

It's playoff basketball. I'm not ever going to complain about that. Sometimes you've got to play according to how the officials are calling it. Sometimes there are plays that get so wacky that you will retaliate because the officials don't make the call. I tell our guys, 'I don't want you shying away, but don't come complaining, either, when things don't go your way, Woodson said.
Brown said it didn't look like  major incident:
From looking at it from a fan’s perspective, nothing they did warrants a suspension. That’s my opinion.  I’m not the final guy on that, obviously, but it was just two guys getting tangled up.
After looking at the review, it's not obvious the move was intentional on Bryant's part, but the NBA rule says that elbows above the shoulders are subject to suspension.  On that issue they are of a like mind:
Only the commissioner and that crew can make that decision. I'm not one to judge that, Woodson said.
LeBron James was asked during his pre-game media pow-wow about the Cavs and maintaining their composure during playoffs.
We’ve got a few guys here that can lose their cool (laughing).  I’m not going to say.  Hopefully guys on our team realize how important the game is and try not to take things personally.  But there comes a time when someone can really test your manhood and you may have to react sometime.  You don’t want to be disrespected and some people can do some disrespectful things you should only do to your kids.
He also said that he wasn't worried if things got more physical in the current series and any future playoff series like what happened last year with the Washington Wizards last year and the season before:
Oh yeah, I’m prepared for whatever happens.  Washington tried, but they’re not a tough team.   They tried something; it didn’t work and was out the first round once again.  We all know Washington’s not a physical team and they tried to be physical team and they lost.
Injury update:  Marvin Williams and Al Horford are both out for the Hawks.
 
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