|Written by Michael Patrick|
The altercation occurred with 2:21 remaining in the game when Atlanta center Pachulia thought he was fouled intentionally by Orlando center Dwight Howard. After a hard foul, one in which Howard clearly made contact with Pachulia's head, Pachulia attempted to go after Howard but ran into Richardson instead. A scuffle occurred and both players were ejected from the game. The physical nature of the playoffs has definitely been evident in this series, and now it may affect the outcome of the series with both players being forced to sit.
Richardson, who has not shot the ball particularly well this series and seems a bit frustrated with his 8.7 ppg average in three games, refused to comment about the altercation following the game. This is the second suspension handed down in the last month to the Magic. Forward Quentin Richardson was suspended for a similar incident last month.
Beyond Ricardson, the Magic will have to get quality play from others who underperformed in this series. Redick, Quentin Richardson, and Gilbert Arenas will have to raise their level of play. Arenas may start to see more minutes with this suspension. Arenas, who was supposed to be an important piece of the puzzle for the Magic, seems to have had a falling out with head coach Stan Van Gundy and has spent more time on the bench then being productive. It should be interesting to see how this situation plays out and if it affects Sunday's result.