By Sekou Smith, NBA.com
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Indiana Pacers will host Game 7 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday. But it remains to be seen if their biggest star, All-Star swingman Paul George, will be a part of the action.
Both George and reserve forward Rasual Butler stepped off of the bench and onto the court during a second quarter scuffle between George Hill and Atlanta Hawks reserve forward Mike Scott in the Pacers’ Game 6 win Thursday night at Philips Arena.
At least one expert on the topic, former NBA vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson, believes a suspension is forthcoming for someone …
Hill and Scott drew technical fouls for their shoving match. George and Butler took small steps but remained in the bench area. But the league has historically held players to the letter of the law in these cases.
The rule states that “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.”
Jackson was the man who handed out one-game suspensions in the 2007 playoffs when then Phoenix Suns big men Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw left the “immediate vicinity of their bench” after Robert Horry body blocked Steve Nash into the scorer’s table in Game 4 of a series between the Suns and San Antonio Spurs.
“The rule with respect to leaving the bench area during an altercation is very clear,” Jackson said then. “Historically, if you break it, you will get suspended, regardless of what the circumstances are.”
Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he wasn’t worried about it after Game 6.
“I haven’t seen (the video), but somebody told me about it,” he said. “I’m not concerned with any suspensions until we hear something.”