It looks like Markieff Morris will be in uniform for the Wizards on Saturday vs. the New York Knicks despite this flagrant foul Thursday night that led to his ejection with six minutes left.
Morris was assessed a Flagrant 2 upon review by game officials which resulted in his automatic dismissal. As of Friday night, the league office had not notified the Wizards, CSNmidatlantic.com was told, that any additional punishment such as a one-game suspension was imminent.
The Wizards were ahead 82-76 but losing momentum as John Wall as stripped off the ball out of a timeout and Isaiah Canaan had a clear path for a layup. Morris clotheslined him, striking the 6-foot guard above the shoulders, and slammed him to the floor at Wells Fargo Center. He exited with 14 points in 26 minutes. The Wizards held on to win 99-94.
As defined by the NBA rulebook, a Flagrant 2 is "unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. It is an unsportsmanlike act and the offender is ejected following confirmation by instant replay review. The offender will be subject to a fine not exceeding $50,000 and/or suspension by the Commissioner."
This means at Commissioner Adam Silver's discretion, he could've determined that the additional penalty was warranted. It was indeed a dangerous play though Morris said afterwards he didn't intend to foul Canaan in that fashion.
"He got up higher than I thought," Morris said of Canaan on his leap to the basket. "Anything above the shoulders you get ejected for so no (I wasn't surprised)."
Coach Randy Wittman agreed that an ejection was the right call based on the rulebook but supported Morris' contention that he wasn't attempting to land a cheap shot.
"He just couldn't get there. And I think at the very end he was going to try to catch it up top. He hit him. It was warranted to through in my estimation," Wittman said. "I didn't see any replays but from my vantage point I knew right away and I immediately began thinking who we're going to go with. But it wasn't the intent to have a Flagrant 2. I don't think his intention was to go take the guy out. It ended up taking him out because of his angle."
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