Tossing the Game

As I’m sure you’ve realized from the Amazon-like river of posts about basketball, we, the member of the Curious Mechanism, are huge fans. 

Okay, maybe not, but I think we’ve all got a cursory sort of interest in it.  We watch plenty of college ball, and a fair amount of NBA games, with a bit more interest in playoffs.  Oh, and there is a writer or two among us who loves the NBA Draft the way most people love Christmas.  Regardless, though I didn’t see it happen live, I’ve seen the replay of the Robert Horry hip-check on Steve Nash, and the subsequent suspensions of Horry (Games 5 and 6) as well as Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw (Game 5 for both). 

Naturally, a lot of people are pretty disgruntled about how the Suns are losing two of their key players for a pivotal game, while the Spurs–who have been accused of dirty play throughout the series–are only losing an ancillary player, a backup, in Horry. 

Some bloggers and message board scribes are advocating some kind of unofficial protest from Phoenix.  The two suggestions I’ve seen most frequently bandied about are the following:

1) Hit someone back.  Start a scrub, and have him plow Tim Duncan or Mr. Eva Longoria. 

2) Throw the game ostentatiously.  I forget who was advocating for this most heartily, but the base sentiment was that, every-time they touch the ball, Phoenix should just toss it away into the stands. 

I understand the desire for #1.  The Suns definitely seem to be getting the short end of the stick, here.  Their premier player gets clobbered, and they suffer the worse of the suspensions.  A little vengeance would seem in order, even if I’m not inclined to advocate for it.  Plus, if the referees believe that the hit was premeditated, I can’t imagine they’d allow coach Mike D’Antoni to stay there to coach.  With a depleted bench, in a tough and tight series, the Suns need all the help their coach can give them.

#2, however, I have to say, “No, no, no!”  Game 5 is in Phoenix.  That’s your home team.  They paid a lot of money to see you play hard and win basketball games.  If this was a game in San Antonio, I could actually see this.  If their team doesn’t want to play clean, then their fans don’t get the benefit of a good game.  But in front of your own fans, your home crowd, you don’t do that. 

The only thing to really do–the thing I expect the Suns to attempt–is just to beat the Spurs, decisively, in Game 5.  Nothing says “fuck you,” like David whipping Goliath.  Take the 3 games to 2 lead, then bring back the big guns. 

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