Update: Rudy Fernandez is expected to be released from hospital later today. He has a bruised chest and right Quick and Freeman had it first.. He is still listed as doubtful for Dallas on Wednesday.
Edit: No, wait! Upon further review Casey had it first, by a nose! Quick and Freeman are filing a protest but the judge from Outer Mongolia is known to be on the take, so it's unlikely to be upheld.
You can't swing a cat around this morning without hitting someone who's talking about whether Trevor Ariza's clubbing of Rudy was intentional or accidental, punishable by further measures or should be left alone, part of the game or out of bounds.
I'll tell you what it was. This was the NBA equivalent of the helmet-to-helmet contact in the NFL. Is the helmet-to-helmet intentional every time? No. Does it cause injury every time? Of course not. But it's dangerous and that's why it's been outlawed and why it's punished every time.
That's why this was a Flagrant 2 instead of a lesser penalty. That's why further repercussions could be justified. Intent doesn't matter here. The risk-reward mechanic of the play and its safety are what count.
I don't believe the league will be happy with its high-flyers looking over their shoulders instead of throwing down fantastic dunks. Allowing that kind of play will diminish the game as much as allowing hand-checks on guards above the free throw line does. That's why I believe the league will uphold the Flagrant 2 and perhaps more, despite Ariza's intent or lack thereof.
Yes, this was part of the game. But it was a dangerous part of the game and a part which, if sustained, would take the focus away from the game itself. That's why it can't happen.
Edit: As a couple of you have pointed out, the league has said there will be no punishment beyond the Flagrant 2 but that the Flagrant 2 is upheld. Good enough.