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NBA Warns Rockets G James Harden For Flopping Against Blazers

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The NBA warned Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden for violating the league's anti-flopping policy during a Tuesday night game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Spo

The NBA announced Thursday that Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden has been warned for violating the league's anti-flopping policy during a Tuesday night game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Midway through the third quarter with the Rockets leading 67-52, Harden went to the court hard after shooting a jumper, holding his face as if he had been contacted by Blazers guard Wesley Matthews during his follow-through. Matthews was called for a personal foul and then a technical foul on the play.

Here's video via YouTube user scraider3.

Harden went on to score a game-high 33 points in Houston's 116-101 victory.

I wrote about Matthews' reaction in the Media Row Report.

"He's clever," Matthews told Blazersedge wryly, when asked if perhaps Harden was guilty of simulating contact. "He's a clever offensive player. I'll leave it at that. The ref blew the whistle on what he thought he saw. I obviously wasn't happy about it. That's it."

Harden's head bob could trigger a flop warning from the league office, but there was little Matthews could do besides vent and stare into space.

"I felt like I was playing with five fouls all night," he said. "There were a lot of whistles. That's it. They shot a lot of free throws."

Mike Tokito of The Oregonian quotes Matthews from Thursday's practice...

"Nothing. It doesn't do anything. It doesn't take away the fact that they called it, I got T'd up, got the fine, he made the play. It doesn't change anything."

The NBA started its anti-flopping system before last season. It provides one free warning to players before fines start to kick in.

  • Violation 1: Warning
  • Violation 2: $5,000 fine
  • Violation 3: $10,000 fine
  • Violation 4: $15,000 fine
  • Violation 5: $30,000 fine
  • Violation 6: Subject to discipline reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension

The NBA defines flopping as "any physical act that, following review, reasonably appears to be intended to cause the game officials to call a foul on another player." The "primary factor" in determining a flop is whether "a player's physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact."

PS Thanks to eastwind in the FanShots.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter