Total BS. Both ways. Alston shouldn't have received two games. Barnes shouldn't have received 2 games (maybe 1).
What, if anything, is the difference between this skirmish and the Hawks-Celtics brawl during last year's playoffs?
Players coming off the bench? Not last Wednesday.
Players grabbing officials? Not last Wednesday.
Potential for penalties resulting in the Celtics losing in the first round of the playoffs? Not last Wednesday.
I acknowledge there is some value in setting a strong tone early. But, come one. Fines should have been levied. Perhaps Barnes should have been suspended one game. But that's it.
It also highlights how the league chooses to selectively enforce its rules. Leaving the bench can cost a playoff series while grabbing a ref or a ref violating the league's gambling rules may not result in any sanction, depending on the circumstances.
The inconsistency is incredible. Or, if you're Stern, just call it "palaver" and keep thinking everyone else is an idiot.