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.