The tall white guy fight we all wanted to see nearly happened last night. Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Tyler Hansbrough exchanged shoves, words, and death stares—or at least the closest to "menacing" that Hansbrough's mug can muster.
In the second quarter of last night's Miami win, after going up for the same rebound, Andersen shouldered Hansbrough to the floor. The two bumped chests, Andersen shoved Hansbrough, and the two had to be separated.
(Incidentally, this exchange was an argument in favor of flopping. In game three of the last round, Chicago's Nazr Mohammed shoved LeBron James, who fell to the ground when he probably didn't need to. Mohammed was ejected. Hansbrough could have hit the deck when Andersen pushed him, and it could've gotten Birdman kicked out of the game. "I don't flop," Hansbrough said afterward. "I'll never flop.")
On the replay, it appears that Andersen got a little shove from behind from Paul George, and may have thought it was Hansbrough. Or Andersen could have thought Hansbrough was the one to send Norris Cole sprawling on the floor. (It wasn't.) Maybe it was residual acrimony from their earlier showdown. Or maybe Hansbrough, the little scamp, said something about this.
Regardless, Birdman won the battle and the war. On the very next possession, he swatted away a Hansbrough hook shot.
Back to the confrontation: it's perfect. The tattooed, mohawked Andersen staring down the corn-fed, goofy Hansbrough. But appearances can be deceiving. While Hansbrough gives up an inch to Birdman, he's got 22 pounds on him. Who would win if these two actually went at it?
We may never find out. Andersen could be suspended for Game 6, so we'll have to make do with a great series of photos from Getty's Streeter Lecka.