Paul Pierce drew a technical foul in the fourth quarter of the Boston Celtics' Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday after headbutting James Jones. Pierce later earned Tech No. 2 for jawing at Dwyane Wade after setting a hard pick; the second technical seemed iffy, but the headbutt probably should have resulted in an ejection.
The NBA typically offers up a one-game suspension for headbutts; Zaza Pachulia, in fact, was knocked out of Game 4 of the Magic-Hawks series last week after headbutting Jason Richardson. But lead referee Danny Crawford addressed the media after game, and Ken Berger says Crawford indicated the first Pierce technical was for illegal conduct during a dead ball, not a head butt.
But the NBA will make the final determination; chances are Pierce won't be suspended, as it looked like a glancing blow. But the fact that Pierce was aggressive and apparently looking for a fight as the Celtics' chances for a win dwindled could color the league's view of the incident. If there's one thing David Stern cares more about than great ratings, it is completely excising violence from the sport. While Pierce's blow certainly wasn't dangerous or vicious, punishing the Celtic further could set a hell of a tone for the series.