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Tyson Chandler won't be suspended or fined for trying to punch Dwight Howard

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Because of course he won't be.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has decided that Tyson Chandler, who threw what I thought was a pretty obvious punch at Dwight Howardwon't face further punishment than the technical foul and its associated minimal fine.

According to the NBA rulebook, a "punching foul" results in an automatic ejection. In the play (video below), Howard and Chandler clearly got tied up for like the 200th time this series. After the ball goes through the basket, Chandler keeps his arm lodged in Howard's chest. Howard chops his arm down -- hard, admittedly -- to free himself from Chandler, and calmly walks away.

While Howard tries to exit the situation, Chandler swings a closed fist at his back. He barely grazes Howard's back, but he appears to make at least minimal contact. The referee, directly in front of the play, whistles the pair of giants for a double-technical foul, and the game moved on apace.

Section III, paragraph g of the official NBA rulebook states: "A punching foul is a punch by a player which makes contact with an opponent whether the ball is dead or alive." Now watch the play again:

One could reasonably argue each of these two deserve a one-game suspension for their actions. One could also reasonably argue that neither does, because it's part of the game. That's what one Dwight Howard thinks.

And really, that's how I feel. Many observers will try to delegitimize this series win already since Rajon Rondo decided to ascend (descend) into basketball purgatory and Chandler Parsons is hurt. Those people will of course not mention that the Rockets don't have Patrick Beverley or Donatas Motiejunas, because we all know those people.

Yes, by the letter of the law, Tyson Chandler could be suspended. But, in practice, this is the NBA Playoffs. Dwight Howard has been very physical with any Maverick he has come in contact with, and it has been glorious. Let the men play, and let's see the Rockets close out the series tomorrow night against Tyson Chandler and the Mavericks.