Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA's postseason suspension system operates slightly differently than during the regular season.

By Emily Caron
May 10, 2019

There are two types of flagrant fouls in the NBA: a flagrant "1" (FFP1) which is defined as "unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent" and flagrant "2" (FFP2) which is "unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. The former results in two free throws for the opposing team and possession while the latter similarly gives the opposing team two shots from the line but also includes automatic ejection of the player committing the foul.

Any player who is called for two flagrant “1” fouls in the same game will be automatically ejected from that game. The playoffs, however, use an additional three-point repercussion system that was implemented in 2010 and resulted in Draymond Green's suspension for Game 5 of the 2016 Finals for Golden State. During postseason play, each flagrant is awarded a point: one for flagrant "1" calls and two for flagrant "2" fouls.

If a player’s playoff point total exceeds 3 points, he will receive an automatic suspension following the game in which his point total passes three points. Each additional flagrant foul committed during the playoffs results in suspensions of greater severity. Here is the NBA's official point system:

Player at 2 points commits a FFP2: automatic one-game suspension

Player at 3 or 4 points commits a FFP1: automatic one-game suspension

Player at 3 or 4 points commits a FFP2: automatic two-game suspension

Player at 5 points or more commits a FFP1 or FFP2: automatic two-game suspension

Teams are notified once a player accumulates two points, as is the responsible individual. The League Office will review all postseason flagrant fouls called and can review, reclassify a flagrant or classify a flagrant that was not called. This cumulative postseason points system, rather than that single incident, was what triggered Green's suspension in 2016. The Warriors forward had three points in the playoffs from previous flagrant fouls and received the automatic one-game suspension for his fourth point.

The NBA can also still impose a fine and/or suspend any player who commits a flagrant foul at any time during the Playoffs (regardless of whether the point levels described above are reached).

Technicals during the playoffs also follow a progressive system during the playoffs, which applies to both players and coaches. First and second technical fouls receive a $1,000 fine each, three and four are $1,500, five and six increase to a $2,000 fine each (with a warning letter sent when the violator reaches his 5th technical foul) while a seventh tech would result in a $2,500 fine plus one-game suspension. Each additional technical foul beyond that includes a $2,500 fine. Once a player or coach accumulates technicals in intervals of two from seven on up, each $2,500 fine also comes with a one-game suspension.

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IN
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Double Bogey (+2)