The NBA: Where confusing flagrant fouls and suspensions happen.
Playoff Basketball, It means many things.
Buzzer-beaters, Huge shots, Great match-ups, Crowds going nuts, Amazing wins and devastating losses.
As well as...hard fouls. Not for better, or for worse, that's just how it is.
It’s understandable. You could be matched up with the same guy for up to 7 games. So a harder foul isn't out of the question...just make him feel it a bit more. Make sure he remembers it next time type thing.
Things get chippy. You get annoyed with each other. Fouls get harder as it goes on.
But then there are hard fouls...and then there are the so called 'flagrant' fouls.
Unavoidable, they happen. I'm not defending them. I'm not praising them. But it happens, its playoff basketball.
But when it becomes 'flagrant', the flagrant foul rule is one of the harder ones to understand (especially if you read the official rules). I have included a link of a decent explanation of the rule.
Dwight Howard was suspended by one game by the NBA after throwing a rather hard elbow in the direction of Sammy Dalembert's face.
Here's the play:
Howard received a technical foul for the elbow, which is fair enough. But the NBA reviewed the play and issued Howard with the suspension. As it turned out, it didn't matter much, as the Magic still won and ended the series in game 6. But it could have been very different, the NBA suspended the main man of the Orlando Magic and that suspension could have changed the whole series. Now, to be clear, I'm not trying to say that the NBA shouldn't have suspended Howard. If they feel that the elbow warrants a suspension...then it obviously does.
What I am trying to argue is, if this elbow warrants a suspension, then how does this not?
Again. I'm aware it's a tough series. Nasty fouls happen, its just part of the game. But why should Howard be suspended and Rondo not? It turned out that Howard wasn't needed to finish off the Sixers, but we'll never know if the Bulls could have upset a Rondo-less Celtics in game 7.
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Again, I want to clarify. I'm not asking for a suspension here. I'm not even really trying to discuss whether or not it was deserved, what I am trying to argue is that the NBA must be consistent.
Rondo had already gotten away with a potential-flagrant in game 5, after slapping Brad Miller on one the last plays of the game. As it was so imperative to the outcome of the game, I would ha ve thought the NBA may ha ve taken a bit more interest in it.
Also something keeps coming in my mind. I'm sure many will be sick of hearing about this. But you may remember in 2007, this happening:
http://www.youtube .com/watch?v=hYC95 MziMJk
(Just quickly, don't you leave hearing Marv Albert saying: ''The Suns did not appreciate the foul''?)
I'm sure we can all remember the outcome of this: Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw being suspended...for standing up, for being good teammates and having an almost involuntary reaction to seeing their teammate being knocked down. Now, again, if the NBA says that's a suspension in the NBA, then I guess it’s a suspension in the NBA.
But then why is Rondo throwing Hinrich into the scorer's table not?
What’s the difference between the Howard elbow and the Rondo pull?
I've heard the argument that Howard is obviously a much bigger and stronger man than Rondo. And that an elbow to the head could do some serious damage. No argument there, but so can being thrown into a scorer's table by your arm. Career-ending injuries have come from a lot less.
Believe me; I don't want the NBA to suspend everyone who commits a flagrant foul in the playoffs...teams would start having issues with having enough players on the roster.
I know it must seem like it, but I didn't want a suspension for Rondo. I'd rather see him out on the floor, much more enjoyable that way. In the same way it would have been more enjoyable to watch Howard play in game 6.
'No crying over spilt milk'.
It applies here. The Boston-Chicago series is over. The first round has closed. But still...plenty more basketball left for this argument to apply to.
Personally I don't want to see any suspensions, but if the NBA decide to issue them (I do understand them, there has to be a limit and has to be a punishment) then they ha ve to issue them consistently.
It is incredibly frustrating when refs don't call it the same both ways in a game. The same goes for the NBA with issuing their penalties. There is no call for an NBA where every physical play calls for someone having to miss a game. There is no call for an NBA where dangerous fouls can be committed with no fear of punishment. There is a call though, for a consistent NBA.
Thank you for reading my rants.
By Joe Buckley
Pro-Basketball Fans staff-writer
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