No suspension for Paul George as Pacers take on Hawks for Game 7
The NBA reviewed all the video and decided not to take any further action after players from both the Pacers and Hawks benches stepped on to the court during an altercation between George Hill and Mike Scott in game six Thursday. Video showed that Pacers players Paul George and Rasual Butler took a step on to the court during the incident. Hawks players also stepped onto the playing floor at the other end of the court from the incident.
The NBA rulebook states: “During an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their bench. Violators will be suspended, without pay, for a minimum of one game and fined up to $50,000. The suspensions will commence prior to the start of their next game.”
The NBA has tightly enforced the rule in the past. Pacers forward Paul George was worried about a possible suspension.
“I know how strict they are on that rule,” said George Friday after practice, while still awaiting the NBA’s decision. “It was like a Twitter trending topic. Obviously, Atlanta fans want to see me out.”
Now he can enjoy his 24th birthday, and hopes to carry the celebration over to the deciding game seven Saturday against the Hawks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 5:30 p.m.
“They’re in trouble,” said George, “because I’m going to have a lot of energy.”
The Pacers host game seven in a playoff series for the first time in their NBA history.
"Now it's just about getting it done,” said George. “We should be the ones that are ready for this moment to play game seven, our backs to the wall kind of game. We're a veteran group and an experienced group being together for about 3 or four years now, so we should be ready for this game."
The Pacers worked all season to earn the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. That gives them the right to host game seven. But the road team has won four of the six games in this series.
"Three of the last four times we played these guys (in Indianapolis), they built a 20 point lead and beat us pretty good,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “So I don't think anybody in our organization can have any kind of level of, 'Okay. We're good. We're at home.' We know they can beat us here."
No team has won two games in a row in the series, which the Pacers must do to advance in the playoffs.
"I know our fans will come out and support us,” said Pacers guard Lance Stephenson. “It's going to be great. It's going to be a lot of fun. I like when everybody comes out and has their gold shirts on. It just gets me a little more energized."