It was clear Trevor Ariza was going for the ball. Ariza is known for his defensive skills so his reputation backs up the fact that he was trying to swat the ball.
It was just unfortunate that, in the process, his hand got entangled with Rudy Fernandez, and Fernandez lost his balance, and landed in a very dangerous manner on the floor.
I feel for Pau Gasol. Ariza is his teammate and Fernandez his close friend. There were reports that Fernandez and Gasol spent the previous night together.
After the game, Ariza apologized and stated he was going for the ball. I believe him. Again, he is a defensive player and he’s the defensive type that steals or swats rather than bumps and grabs (ala Bowen, Artest and Battier).
Meanwhile, Lamar Odom is suspended for leaving the vicinity of the bench. He will suspended for the upcoming Houston game. Get ready, Josh Powell.
The Lakers, this late in the game, is facing some tough adversity.