Wednesday, May 16, 2007

NBA Playoffs starting to resemble the WWE

If you see this man on the street or outside a strip club at 3:00 am, please run quickly in the opposite direction

Ejections, technicals, suspensions, near-brawls, hip checks into the side boards, bloodied noses, clotheslines, name-calling, finger-pointing and oh yeah, an infamous knee-to-the-groin.

No, this isn't the Stanley Cup playoffs on Versus, it's your 2007 NBA Playoffs on TNT and the ESPN family of networks.

While the Eastern Conference semis (CLE/NJ; DET/CHI) have been about as electrifying as a night lite, the wild, wild Western Conference semis are providing enough entertainment & bloodshed to qualify as a sequel to "300".

The series between the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz has ranged from chippy to downright dirty. The culmination of all that jazz came at the end of Game 4, when Baron Davis threw a flying elbow smash to Derek Fisher's dome followed by Jason Richardson clotheslining of Utah's Memhet Okur, a play that nearly incited a riot at Whatever They're Calling it Now Arena.

Curiously, neither player was suspended for their gutless action, but Richardson was tossed from the game.

The Warriors certainly live up to their cinematic namesakes; every game they clang empty Pepsi bottles together off the ends of their fingers as if to say "come out to play" to any team that dare oppose them. If it's not Davis or Richardson defending their turf, it's Stephen "Action" Jackson, a man who never met a shot, or a shotgun, he didn't like, or Mad Matt Barnes, who throws his body around like a bathtowel with a rattail all game long.

I'm gonna miss these guys now that they've been eliminated. Guess I'll have to wait for the sequel.

But just because the Bay Area Badasses have left the building, that doesn't mean the bad blood and cheap shots have to stop. No, the other semi between the Spurs and Suns has gone from bad (Nash's bloody schnozz ) to worse (Bruce Bowen's knee to Nash's nether regions) to worse-er, as a late cheap shot but Robert Horry on Nash (why him?) at the end of Game 4 has resulted in three players being suspended for tonight's critical Game 5 in Phoenix.

Thanks to Cheap Shot Bob's hockey-like hip-check on the Canadian native Nash, Horry will have to sit out two games while Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw of the Suns will each sit one game for leaving the bench in the chaos that ensued.
The fervor over the two Suns having to sit a game for defending their captain is all for naught; the rule book says players cannot leave the bench during an on-court altercation, Stoudamire & Diaw left the bench momentarily to join the fray before being restrained by assistant coaches, therefore they must serve the one-game suspension as the rule dictates.

So as the Warriors season comes to a close the Spurs and Suns are just get heated up. It's now a best-of-three, undermanned war of attrition between the two, and the team with the fewest players eligible and most stitches should win the series.

Just don't pick the team with the player named Cyrus.

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