Posted by: Nathan | May 20, 2007

Spurs win, NBA loses

Those who know me know I don’t much care about the NBA. It’s entirely unwatchable during the regular season, and even the playoffs aren’t that great (witness Nets v. Cavs). But I did find myself interested in the Suns/Spurs series this year. The two teams were easily the best left in the playoffs, and J and I have friends out here who are big Suns fans. So, I figured, why not root for the Suns*?

It certainly was an entertaining series, but the actual play was overshadowed by the ridiculous incident that ended game four. Pretty much anyone who’s casually observant of the sports world as seen this video by now: Suns up three, Nash gets body-checked into the scorer’s bench by Horry. Fracas ensues. In the aftermath, two of the Suns starters (Stoudemire and Diaw) jump off the bench to defend Nash; they take a couple steps onto the court, stop themselves from entering the fray, and return to the bench.  For this, both players were suspended for game five.

I won’t bother to go on a tirade about how stupid this rule is and how idiotic the interpretation David Stern gave was; others have already done a better job of it. But that suspension of two of the Suns starters ruined the entire series. Sure, the Spurs lost “Big Shot Rob” for two games (he deserved to go), but he’s a sub. Stoudemire is the Suns leading scorer; Diaw is their starting guard.  As a result, the Suns lost game five at home by three points; one can only wonder if Stoudemire could have added four points to their total. Then the Suns lost the series the next game in San Antonio.

Let’s break down the games and see how many the Spurs won justly.

Game 1: Spurs win with a bloody Steve Nash off the court for the final three minutes having been elbowed in the nose.

Game 2: Suns win a fair game, though Nash gets kneed in the groin by Bruce “Cheap Shot” Bowen.

Game 3: Spurs win a fair game.

Game 4: Suns win a fair game; Nash checked into the boards.

Game 5: Spurs defeat a short-handed Suns team.

Game 6: Spurs win a fair game.

So, in games with both teams at even strenth, the Suns and Spurs tied at two. Tell me again how the suspensions didn’t ruin the series, Mr. Stern?

In any case, I’m completely done with the NBA for the foreseeable future. Any league willing to destroy its showcase series** by following the letter of an imbecilic rule is worthless. For those who still want to watch the NBA playoffs, you get a tantalizing Spurs v. Jazz series and an even more dismal Pistons v. Cavaliers series. Enjoy. If you need me, I’ll be watching baseball or the hockey playoffs.

*Additionally, the Suns may have the best uniforms in the NBA. Purple, orange and grey? How sweet is that?

**This series should have taken place in the Western Conference finals, but because Stern and the league are too stupid to re-seed their playoffs like MLB, NHL, and NFL all do, we saw the best series too soon.



  1. I found your blog. Blame your sister.

    Isn’t 7.2 out of 10 technically a C? Or is there some sort of curve that I don’t understand?

  2. Ahh, well welcome! Indeed, if I were using a regular grade scale, a 72% would be a C. However, I made up my own grading scale for more precision in my rating of random things e.g. books, movies, coffee-mate. I wrote a post about it a while back. When I become an English prof (Lord willing), I doubt I’ll be able to use this method, but it’s fun for now.
    Glad you found me!

  3. I’d be hard pressed to agree with you more on this post, though I was forced to live vicariously through various highlights. We don’t get cable, which means we get one or two playoff games per week. Normally this would be fine, as the NBA playoffs last as long as a Joe Biden rant, but this series (and the Warriors-Mavs first round series) looked particularly good.

    The inimitable Bob Ryan made the great point that a similar ‘altercation’ fiasco happened in the 1997 playoffs between the Knicks and Heat, in which Ewing, Starks, Larry Johnson, and Allan Houston were suspended for leaving the bench. He argued that the league has had 10 years to remedy the problem–get on it! Similarly, that the NBA doesn’t re-seed it’s playoffs is astonishing.

  4. Yeah, I can’t really add a whole lot to this discussion other than one point made by Bill Simmons. Yes, there was a stupid rule that helped keep the Suns from winning in the end, and yes, it’s dumb that they don’t re-seed, but there was additional mistake made by the Suns coach when he gave no rest to the 3 top players he had remaining, and they underperformed in game 6. Even though it was close, giving the guys more rest in game 5 could’ve changed things in 6. We might as well hand the trophy over to the Spurs…you’re right, there really isn’t anything intriguing left out there, unless LeBron starts scoring 50 a game or something.

  5. Just in addition to what’s been said thus far, my boys Wilbon and Kornheiser completely agree with all of us. Just listen.

  6. It’s been a year since this post, and I’m still bitter about this series. Suns just lost to the Spurs again, this time in round one. Not that it matters, NBA, but I think you suck.

    As for the threat of turning my attention to other sports, well, that didn’t pan out. I’ve got too much to read. I’m only casually following the Cubs now (too early to get too excited).

  7. I’m still fairly interested in the NBA playoffs, but I’m really frightened that the Spurs or the Pistons will end up in the finals again. Ugh.

    I watched the 4th quarters of some Lakers-Nuggets games, and they were pretty fun to watch! Mostly because Kobe was lighting it up. I know you hate him, though, so that won’t intrigue you..I think the Lakers are pretty exciting

    The only team that people want to see out of the East is the Celtics, and somehow their series is tied 2-2… a very bad sign. Unless we can pull off a Lakers-Celtics finals, which would be awesome, the ratings probably won’t be all that great. Well, maybe Lakers vs. Cavs would get some attention to see the two best in the NBA square off…

    So, if it does end up being Lakers-Celtics, will you watch? I mean, you’ve got to, right? For history’s sake?

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