Tas was right. Ron Artest wasn’t trying to clock J.J. Barea in the face. He was just trying to hit him in the chest, duh. From the Los Angeles Times:

“I don’t like to dwell on things too much. It shouldn’t have happened. Reaching out for a foul and the guy is 5-2, I’m reaching down. There’s only so much down I can go. His face is right in my hand. It’s very unfortunate. Whatever happened was unfortunate and uncalled for. That wasn’t the reason why we lost.”

See? Just a simple size miscalculation. He totally didn’t mean clothesline the Mavericks guard.

Pay no mind to the fact that Artest admits he was intentionally fouling while his team was down 11 with only 24 seconds left in the game. That part is irrelevant. If J.J. Barea had been a foot taller like a normal person, he’d have just been hit in the chest, which is a completely legit basketball move. When you think about it in this light, it was Barea’s fault and he’s the one that should have been suspended for Game 3. The Lakers should file a protest.

In fact, it was probably also Barea’s fault that Andrew Bynum knocked him out of the sky. If J.J. weighed more than 16 pounds, Bynum wouldn’t have sent him flying and the foul looks mundane. Basically, J.J. Barea cost the Lakers six games worth of suspensions because he’s so little. Pretty effective for an M-word.