When I woke up this morning, there was a fair amount of buzz concerning a hard foul committed by New Jersey Net Devin Harris against Cleveland Cavalier Jamario Moon. Naturally, the side of me that appreciates a good tussle was eager to see the video footage. Now that I have, I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. Sure, Harris’ foul was indeed intentional, and he got kicked out of the game for his efforts, but if Harris doesn’t make contact with Moon’s head-and-neck area, that’s just another physical play in a game played by chiseled athletes.
Now this is a flagrant foul:
Again, this isn’t to take anything away from Devin Harris. He committed a hard foul to stop a layup. Granted, there was probably a great deal of season-long frustration tied up in that foul, but Harris didn’t exactly “drop the hammer” on Moon either. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just jaded.
While the Houston Rockets got an impressive Game 1 win against the Los Angeles Lakers last night, some of their players had to pay for the win with blood. Particularly, Shane Battier. Not only did the Rockets go-to defender have to check Kobe Bryant for most of the evening — while doing a respectable job — he paid a physical toll as well. Not only did he have to take a thigh to the face and an elbow the back of the head from Bryant, unintentional or not, Battier also took an elbow to the eyebrow from Sasha Vujacic.
Move over, Al Capone. There’s a new bad guy for the city of Chicago to love — or in this case, hate. I’m talking about Rajon Rondo, of course, who, after his Brad Miller face-check, was already thought poorly of in the Windy City. Thanks to a toss of Kirk Hinrich into the scoring table, Rondo’s Chicago “Q rating” has gone from “dislike” to undoubtedly “hate.” In light of this, I’m guessing Derrick Rose’s game-saving block on Rondo will develop a cult-like following among Bulls fans. The question going forward is will the Celtics spark plug be suspended for Game 7? The Hinrich toss was deemed a Flagrant One, meaning Rondo was allowed to remain in the game. Will Stu Jackson and company review this event and alter the ruling?
The review is inevitable, but the outcome is uncertain. Considering Rondo didn’t get tossed on the spot, I doubt a harsher penalty will be levied — save for a potential fine — especially with an absolutely HUGE Game 7 looming.
I could almost hear the cries of “Oh, that’s such BS” coming from the Windy City as I typed that previous stanza.
If Stan Van Jeremy thought life without Jameer Nelson was difficult, imagine how he’ll feel when Orlando and Philly go at it in Game 6 — most likely without Stan’s main man, Dwight Howard. As you can see in the video, Howard’s mountain-sized elbow made contact with Samuel Dalembert’s noggin… Because Superman threw it at him. Apparently, the roughhousing in the paint reached an irritating level for Howard, and so, he lost his composure for a moment, which will likely result in Howard being suspended for the next game.
After stealing Game 1 against the Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks allowed Tony Parker and crew to knock them around the court last night, to the tune of 105-84. Most, if not all of the Spurs’ damage was provided by Tony Parker, who could very well be the fastest Frenchman, maybe ever. Parker so thoroughly dominated the Mavericks — 38 points and 8 assists — he’s got their defenders talking about using alternative means to stop him; means like knocking Parker to the floor (via the Dallas Morning News):
“Parker got into the teeth of our defense and caused problems,” he said. “Every time he drives the lane, we have to put him on his back. The first foul has to tell him he;s in for a long night.
“My first foul Thursday night is going to put him on his back. I guarantee it.”
I’m not sure if sending him to the foul line — or perhaps even accruing a bunch of intentional fouls is going to help. If these were the Detroit Pistons/Boston Celticsdays, Dampier could knock Parker around all he wanted, but with today’s “protect the offensive player” rules, Dallas’ center will only find himself sitting on the bench sooner, rather than later.
And Tony Parker will continue to penetrate the Mavericks defense at will.
Denver Nugget Kenyon Martin gave a hard (unnecessary?) foul to Spencer Hawes, knocking the Kings center to the ground as Hawes clutched his knee in obvious pain (in the lead video). The foul left the Joe Maloof, who owns the Sacramento Kings with his brother, awfully upset and they’ve issued a demand for Martin to apologize to Hawes.
“Completely unnecessary. The Nuggets might not want to hear this, but there was no excuse for that, and he [Martin] needs to apologize to Spencer and our organization. That just wasn’t right,” Maloof added…
Fortunately for the Kings, Hawes avoided any structural damage to the knee in question, meaning he shouldn’t miss any time when the Kings begin their playoff adventure on Saturday.
Now, I’m not doubting the fact it hurts when you get knocked to the hardwood during a basketball game, especially when you are running at full speed, followed by a jump towards the rim. If something should happen during your flight and you get knocked out of the air, I know it hurts. But is it as bad as Rudy Fernandez acted when Trevor Ariza made contact with his head, causing Fernandez to land awkwardly?
Below is the video of the incident — all eight minutes of it — and to me, it doesn’t look like Ariza was trying to be dirty or even flagrant. He made a play on the ball and missed. Fernandez’ reaction was a little surprising. I guess I didn’t expect the play to hurt him as badly as it apparently did.
I’m guessing the stretcher and the neck brace were for precautionary measures because it doesn’t even look like Fernandez’ head makes contact with the floor, although, there was a whip-like reaction. According to Oregon Live, Fernandez has a soft tissue injury to his chest and side area. X-rays and CT scans were negative.
In other news, the Blazers absolutely smashed the Lakers, winning 111-94. That’s not a bad statement to make for a young team fighting for strong seed in the upcoming NBA playoffs.