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NBA Digs Into Rip's Money Clip

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After a play that was met with a fair bit of (warranted) complaining in these parts, the NBA has exacted its version of justice on Rip Hamilton for his elbow to Kevin Garnett's face on Tuesday night.

As reported by Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Pistons guard Richard Hamilton has been fined by the NBA for a flagrant foul against the Celtics' Kevin Garnett during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night.

With 9:59 left in the game, won by Boston, Hamilton threw an elbow up high around Garnett's neck and chin area. It was Hamilton's fourth foul and he was immediately taken out of the game.

Fair enough.

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Hamilton buried his elbow in KG's face on a legally set screen by the green power forward, and it certainly seemed that there was some intent on Hamilton's part.

That said, I'm a biased observer, and one never knows whether a defender truly sees a screen and whether he is fully aware of what he is doing with his reaction.

This is the playoffs.  Chippy play is part of the program, and there was no expectation here of a suspension.  The fine sends a mesage but doesn't make a major alteration to the series.  Good move by the league.