Monday, May 28, 2007

Flopping to a win, and more fans' disgust

Why is it that every time someone beats the Spurs, they feel as if they were wronged? This is starting to become a trend. Even excluding the Robert Horry mess that led to the two suspensions for the Suns, there was plenty of foul called by the Suns' contingent before with Bruce Bowen's horrid dirty play and Manu Ginobili's ever-present flopping routine.

Then, tonight, Ginboili did what he does best — fall down — when running up the court alongside Derek Fisher. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and Fisher both ended up getting ejected and the Spurs ended up winning handily. The game was mostly gone at the point already, but irresposible refereeing (more than just a trend) essentially ended the game for the Jazz at the point that it could have potentially turned around.

It's really quite mind-boggling that the NBA hasn't stepped up and done something about flopping. Believe me, I understand the importance of taking a charge. It keeps offensive players honest and keeps players from slashing the lane with wild abandon. I have no problem with that, that rule exists for a reason. However, players like Manu Ginobili, and the basketball godfather of the practice, Vlade Divac, might be the most spineless athletes on the planet. Gaining a competitive advantage is one thing, and a little bit of gamesmanship is one of the things that makes sports great. But, at its base level, this practice represents a complete lack of respect for the game. Exploiting a rule again and again that undermines the quality of basketball is something the NBA must look into if it wants to keep people from giving up on the NBA as a compelling sport more than they already have.

Reasonably yours,

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Joe Ruiz said...

Scooter, come can't honestly tell me that:

A. Fisher flopped when Manu went behind the pick.

B. Fisher made a deliberate attempt to initiate contact with Manu while running back up the court.

Don't get me wrong, Manu flopped off that nudge (heavy breathing is more like it), but it further got into Fisher's head and that led to the "taunt" that got him ejected a few plays later. (It was a pretty weak taunt, but you're telling me a vet like Fisher doesn't know Javie's quick trigger and any attempt at unnerving Javie would lead to ejection)

Who knows? Maybe Fisher wanted an early shower since he flew out immediately after the game for a doctor's visit about his daughter and he knew the game was pretty much over at that point.

Both teams were flopping early and it's actually surprising that more didn't come of it the way bodies were flying all over in the first half.

And other than what I think were some quick triggers on the techs (again, any involved NBA fan, much less a player, should know about Javie's quick trigger), how was the refereeing irresponsible? If it's for any reason other than non-calls on flops both ways and quick triggers, I disagree with your assessment.

Utah collapses on the lane, they're going to eventually draw more fouls when teams start attacking the basket as Parker did in the first half and Manu in the fourth quarter. The Spurs attempt to not jump into jump shooters (save for the Oberto foul on Deron early in the first).

Now the question comes of how to assess penalties of flopping.

Personal foul, team technical?


Scooter said...

Just because everyone knows Javie has a quick trigger doesn't mean he isn't an irresonsible referee. And the domino that started it was Manu's horrid flop running up the court. If that doesn't get called, things look different. Spurs would still have won, but it's a matter of officiating principle more than aything. You can't tell me that this madness shouldn't stop, right?

And, I call it a personal foul, not a team technical. I don't think you have to make it that egregious and make a team tech.