Wolves F Hollins suspended for 2 games

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Ryan Hollins was suspended on
Wednesday for two games after separate run-ins with the Mavericks’
Dirk Nowitzki and DeShawn Stevenson in their game Monday night.

Hollins punched Stevenson while boxing him out on a free throw
in the second quarter. He then struck Nowitzki in the head with his
left forearm late in the fourth quarter, drawing a Flagrant-2 foul
and an ejection.

Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said before the game on Wednesday
night against Denver that he didn’t believe either act had
malicious intent.

“It’s just not the kind of player or person that Ryan is,”
Rambis said. “He wants to play hard. He is trying to do the
physical things that we’re asking him to do. Any time there is
physical play out there, there’s going to be a certain amount of
aggression level that increases.”

After the game, Nowitzki called Hollins “a little out of
control, but that’s part of the game.”

Rambis reviewed tape of the incidents and said he felt the
suspension came as the result of Hollins’ shot to Stevenson, not
the “striking” of Nowitzki, as the league referred to it in a
news release.

Rambis said he agreed that Hollins may have been a little out of
control with Stevenson, but “the one where the Flagrant-2 foul was
called with Dirk, I thought Ryan was making a play on the ball and
Dirk flopped on it.”

Hollins has been starting for the Timberwolves in recent weeks
and is averaging 6.8 points and 3.0 rebounds.

Darko Milicic took Hollins’ spot in the starting lineup on
Wednesday night against Denver. Hollins was not available for
comment.

“He was disappointed and he was sad,” Rambis said. “He
stressed to us that he wasn’t trying to do anything. It was not his
intent. That wasn’t what was going on. There was no ill feelings
toward the Mavericks, the organization or those players.”