sad celtics 2

The Boston Celtics: Isn't it funny -- and I mean "an elderly couple trapped under their own hoarded trash for three weeks" funny -- that the Celtics looked like championship shoe-ins two short games ago? Now they look like a bunch of creaky old guys who could end up being the first NBA team to ever lose a playoff series after going up 3-0.

Call it the Curse of the Bruins.

So what happened? Well, for starters, Boston's offense has started to fall apart, which is due in no small part to Orlando's defense. The Celts shot 43 percent, with Kevin Garnett (5-for-14), Paul Pierce (3-for-8) and Ray Allen (3-for-10) providing lead vocals, bass guitar and drums for this Brick-a-Palooza.

What a way to waste a 21-point night from Rasheed Wallace.

That said, the main problem was that the Magic owned Boston's vaunted defense: Orlando scored 113 points while shooting 52 percent from the field and beyond the arc (13-for-25). They also outrebounded the C's 43-26 (including 10-4 on the offensive glass) and outscored them 40-28 in the paint. To me, those are always the two big "effort" stats. Well, the Magic dominated in those areas...

...and won by 21 points.

The Celtics made lot of mistakes both early and late, like giving up an offensive rebound in the third quarter that eventually found it's way to Matt Barnes for an uncontested three. Before that shot got drilled, Boston had cut the lead to 5 points. But that field goal -- which Doc Rivers called the biggest shot of the game -- swung momentum Orlando's way.

Of course, it might never have gotten to that if the Celtics had been able to contain J.J. Redick in the first half. Think I'm kidding? I'm not. As ESPN's Chris Sheridan pointed out: "It was Redick who keyed the early surge that put Orlando ahead for good, scoring 11 of his 14 points from the moment when he first checked in with the score 16-16 until he was subbed out with the Magic ahead 49-37."

I don't know if the Celtics don't respect Redick or what, but they don't smother him the way they try to smother other Magic players. And they could end up regretting it when they're watching the NBA Finals on their big-screen TVs.

Dwight Howard: Okay, let's see here. I already posted video of how he tagged KG with an elbow to the face in Game 4 (although the refs missed it and there was no call). How did he follow that up? Well, let's see...

During the second quarter, he tagged Big Baby in the face with an "inadvertent" elbow:


Was is funny watching a woozy Davis stagger around the court (at least at first)? Yeah, a little. But Baby had a concussion, which is significantly less funny. As for whether it was intentional...maybe, I guess. Although I've played enough basketball to know that players usually have a pretty good idea of where their various body parts are in relation to the guys they're playing against. With hits like that, it's not necessarily a case of trying to hit somebody...bu they aren't trying to not hit them either. If you get my drift.

But more than that, watch the replay again. You'll notice that after making first contact, instead of yanking the elbow away from Baby's head, Howard's elbow actually pushes toward it. Again, in my personal experience, that's doesn't happen by accident.

Was Dwight trying to concuss Davis? Of course not. But IMHO, that hit wasn't some unintentional, inadvertent oopsie.

In the third quarter, Howard fouled Pierce. Check it out:


Howard's arm comes down on Paulie's face. Again, I don't buy that it was accidental. He knew where his arm was and he knew where Pierce was. Now, he was called for he foul, as he should have been, but if you watched closely enough, you'll notice that there was a wee bit of follow through by Dwight, just a little extra mustard used to send Pierce to the floor.

These aren't accidents. They're trends. Look, I get that Dwight's a nice guy and a good Christian and all that, so people find it hard to believe that he would be doing any of this on purpose. And while I'm not saying he's trying to hurt other players necessarily, the fact is his elbows keep hitting people and people keep getting hurt. This has been going on for years, by the way. Howard has wiped out other players (like Sammy Dalembert) with elbows and he's even concussed his own teammates!

Can we honestly be expected to believe these are accidents when they keep happening over and over and over? Doesn't that strain credulity?

Anyway, all this talk about Pumaman's elbows inspired me to post a video tribute to "Macho Man" Randy Savage. OOOOOOOOOHHHH YEEEEEEEAAAAH!!


Kendrick Perkins' second technical foul: On the other end of the spectrum from Dwight, we have Perkins, who -- considering how physical this series has been not to mention the fact that Howard had thrown another little elbow at Perk while trying to get position -- got called for a true ticky-tac foul. Kendrick reacted, but he did so while walking away from the refs, and it's hardly the worst reaction I've seen this season or even in this series. And yet, his unhappiness earned him his second tech of the game (the first one he deserved for giving Marcin Gortat a little post-foul bump in the chest) and therefore an automatic ejection.


Can you blame Perk for getting testy about being called for a touch foul? As Basketbawful reader DKH said: "I didn't see a whole lot of the game, but Perkins getting ejected for what he did is laughable. I also love the replay they show of Howard's block of a Rondo layup, which he follows up by landing on Rondo and pretty much annihilating him, with no foul called. That is, I saw what Howard got away with (egregiously tackling someone), and then saw what Perkins got away with (he touched Howard). Did I need to see more of the game?"

No, you didn't. That's just the kind of night it was. By the way, here's Howard's play on Rondo, which was named the NBA.com Block of the Night:


Anyway...two bad calls on Perkins...and they could have serious ramifications for Game 6:

But his penalty might have implications beyond Wednesday's game. After entering the game with five postseason technical fouls, Perkins would be at the limit of seven -- provided both technicals stand upon league review -- and will be suspended for Boston's next playoff game.

"I didn't think he deserved either one. But he got them," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

By game's end, all three of Boston's primary centers were gone, a variety of reasons sending them away before the conclusion of Orlando's 113-92 season-saving win.

Question is, when Game 6 rolls around, who will Boston have to match up with Howard?

"Well, it's not a pleasant thought," Rivers said.

Perkins, who didn't earn his first technical until Game 5 of a first-round triumph over the Miami Heat, has now been part of five double technicals, the first three coming in the conference semifinals when he was frequently covering Cleveland's Shaquille O'Neal.

"I have talked to him," Rivers said before Wednesday's game. "The double technical is what's getting most guys in trouble. The flagrants, I can understand, if you had a ton of glaring flagrants, at some point, you should get suspended. Or if you have a ton of techs for arguing with the refs, just plain back-and-forth with the refs. But the double-technical thing has to be resolved. That's where two players, getting physical, and officials are just trying to clean the game up. The easier way is the double technical, it calms the game down.

"If you look at Kendrick, four of them are [double-technicals]. Those are the ones we have to figure out a better way. I'm a typical guy -- I don't have a solution, but I can point out the problem."

The NBA said it would have an answer Thursday about Perkins' status for Game 6.
Amazing, isn't it, that Howard gave not one but two players concussions with his atomic elbow but Perkins is the guy who might have to sit out a game. Way to go, NBA.

By the way, Basketbawful reader JR e-mailed me about the officiating -- he called it The Boston "T" Party -- and provided the following video to "honor" last night's officating crew of Joe Crawford, Tom Washington and Eddie F. Rush.


Physical play: I'll leave this one to the readers.

From Heretic:

Holy Shit! Big Baby's gone insane, get the fucking tranq gun and the bear net!

...

People are getting fucked up in this game. I'm pretty sure someone from boston is going to get decapitated by an atomic elbow.
From Dooj:

Wow... How many concussions? 2?
From Adam:

I'll take a Celtics loss any time and I hate them all minus Doc, but the Magic were getting away with some heavy duty home cookin' roughhousing. Forget elbows. This was karate chopping, full body contact take-down play.
From an anonymous commenter:

That game is why the "Admiral Elbows" nickname for Dwight Howard is so appropriate.

The big question: will friday night's UFC fight or game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals be the more savage beating?
From SirGirthNasty:

Jesus, what happened? I think paid heed to all the press coverage questioning their toughness and decided full-on assault and battery was the only logical response.
From Czernobog:

Holy shit. Every team playing Orlando from now on should come out wearing Rugby helmets.

Seriously, wtf? How many atomic elbows is Dwight going to get away with in his career?
From Barry:

Well, I AM a Celtics fan and I know my team is in for some physical play, but there was some home-cooking going on like there was nobody watching outside of Orlando.
Vince Carter: Again from DKH: "All of Orlando's players shot 50% or better from the field except Carter, who couldn't even manage to reach the one point per shot threshold." Carter went 3-for-10 and finished with 8 points, 3 boards and 4 fouls.

Basketbawful reader and Magic fan Mario -- no, not Mario West -- prepared this awesome pic:

VagCarterSUCKS[1]

J.J. Redick, quote machine: "We've pretty much figured out what works against them and what doesn't, so that makes a huge difference."

Glen Davis, quote machine: "Point blank, I ain't speaking. I'm all right. I'll be back next game. That's all you need to print."

Doc Rivers, quote machine: "I don't know what kind of test they're going to do with Davis because he's a little delirious half the time anyway, so I don't know how he's going to pass a test. I'm worried about that. But I guess he's going to have to do something for them to clear him."

Jeff Van Gundy, quote machine: Submitted by Heretic: "The NBA...where soft happens".

Zach Randolph: Uh oh...

According to the affidavit, the Cadillac Escalade that Boyd was driving was registered to [the Grizzlies' Zach] Randolph, and police found marijuana and ammunition stowed inside.

"One of his vehicles had what we call hidden compartments that contained suspected narcotics, that being marijuana," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell. Based on information found in the Escalade, police later raided a northeast side storage facility, where they said Randolph rents four lockers.

According to the affidavit, a police K-9 alerted to controlled substances in two of the four units, and police found more cars with secret compartments inside.
Mini Lacktion Report: From Chris: "Michael Finley found enough time in 7:44 to bake two bricks for a +2 suck differential."

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91 Comments:
Blogger Dan B. said...
You know the officiating is bad when I text Bawful at 10:30pm telling him "fuck this shit, I'm going to bed" during a conference finals playoff game.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
You know the officiating is bad when I text Bawful at 10:30pm telling him "fuck this shit, I'm going to bed" during a conference finals playoff game.

Damn, I actually meant to include that text in the post.

But yeah...

Blogger 80's NBA said...
Well...Gang Green is back. I thought before Game 5 that the worst thing that could have happened was that the Celtics would be blown out. Psychologically, in this situation, a close loss is easier to handle. Now, the Magic are firing on all cylinders and Rashard is getting over his "infection".

But now it could be even worse if the NBA doesn't rescind the Perkins tech. They should, but who knows.

What I thought was going to be a Game 6 dogfight now looks like it's going to be a Wake* for the team wearing green and white. (Game 7 will be the funeral).

P.S. Am I the only one who got a Reggie Lewis flashback when Baby stumbled while trying to get up from that elbow? That was eerie.

----------

*A wake is a funeral tradition associated mostly with Irish culture, though there are equivalents in other cultures as well. A traditional wake takes place shortly after death and before the burial. Traditionally, a wake is held in the home of the deceased."

Anonymous Medrawt said...
(1) I turned the game off when Perkins got ejected, and went to do other stuff on my computer while following ESPN's Daily Dive Live chat out of the corner of my eye. Trying to figure out wtf was going on with subsequent concussions and techs was even more bewildering, but I think I would've had a stroke if I were watching it live.

(2) Howard is on some Karl Malone business isn't he? The occasional intentional elbow, and then a whole lot of "Look, I just happen to be swinging my elbows as hard as I can all the time. If your face got in the way, I'm sorry you got hurt, but that's what I do with my elbows, so...don't put your face there." I'm trying to be objective because I don't like the guy for other reasons, but...I keep having reasons to not like the guy.

Anonymous greggrant said...
yes, the officiating was bad in this game but maybe Howard getting away with that elbow on Davis wasn't on them. What happened there was an inadvertent elbow (in other cases such as the situation before Perkins got called for the 2nd T he did throw an elbow to the chest of the defender). But in Davis' case it was a basketball play gone bad. Howard went up for the shot and Davis was contesting just a bit too close to Howard's chest. When D12's arms came down they went through Davis' face because there were no place to go.
It was like when I play up close to the chest a center during pickup games where I give up 5-6 inches, somketimes I got hit in the head. It's part physics (the center's elbow is just at the top of my head when holding the ball up), part uncoordinated movement (yes, Howard and many big men have that problem).
And don't even get me started on the other play where it was Daniels head making contact to Gortat's chest and this is how the other concussion happened.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Well both series have made it to game 6, so the Stern Profit Margin is complete and there may actually be good officiatting crews for the remainder of the Conference Finals.

*snicker*.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The league and the referees are creating the atomic elbow monster. Charlotte played very, very physical with Howard, and when he played physical basketball in response, HE was put in foul trouble for the whole series.

I think bawful has it exactly right - Howard isn't necessarily trying to hit people, but he also isn't trying not to hit them, again, I think this is in response to how physical Boston has been playing him, and his limited ability to respond with physical basketball.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"In the fourth quarter, Marquis Daniels got whacked in the face by Howard while trying to make a pass. Daniels was -- get this -- called for travelling on the play. And, like baby, Marquis suffered a concussion."

Marquis ran his face into Gortat's chest himself. Dwight was a mile away from it. Relax on Dwight. This is playoffs and he finally plays accordingly.

Blogger Mr. Too Nice Guy said...
Perkins first technical was also bawful. Unless I need to rewatch, his hand slips while he's trying to help Rondo off the floor and he accidentally elbowed Gortat. Did I see that wrong?

Also,

Right after Perk gets the boot from the game, Gortat gets called for a foul, literally runs to half court screaming in disbelief at Crawford and doesn't get his second technical. It was ludicrous to watch that game.

As much as I hate to say it, I really hope there is some serious get-back by the Celtics in the next game and Perk better get those technicals rescinded.

Blogger Dan said...
I had liked the Magic and wanted them to get to the finals (and lose to the Suns, of course), but now...

When you're that big, you gotta be more careful. Two concussions is ridiculous.

Anonymous Marylander said...
yes Dwight Howard was swinging the elbow left and right but he too was a victim of ticky tacky fouls during regular the season and the playoffs, perkins will be suspended no question, which means 6 fewer fouls in the Hack-A-Superman bag. I don't think Sheed and Big Baby can defend Dwight Howard as good as Perkins. Series is coming to Orlando for game 7.

Blogger BadDave said...
Hey - I resent the Karl comment. He only dropped the elbows after provocation. He wasn't a regular concusser.

The good news is that the Indy cops don't have to worry about gunshot wounds. Everyone knows Zach Randolph can't shoot.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What the fuck is up with this whining over seemingly inadvertent elbows. A soft team gets a little physical and people complain? I couldn't care less about the Magic but I relish in seeing the douchebag Celtics finally get a taste of their own medicine.

The techs on Perkins sucked but eh, it's karma for his constant "I've never fouled in my entire life" reactions.

Doc Rivers deserves a mention for his superdickery - he kept waving and yelling at bib baby to get up and run after Pumaman totally destroyed the shit out of baby :D

Blogger Dan B. said...
Anon -- There is a world of difference between the occasional inadvertent elbow, and habitual atomic elbow dropping that results in concussions and knocking people the fuck out. Howard's always been really bad about throwing elbows, and the refs refuse to do anything about it. Last night's game was just the latest example.

Blogger Noah said...
He hit Pierce with the INSIDE of his elbow!!! I have NEVER heard someone complain about being hit with the inside of an elbow. Pierce was writhing in pain on the floor out of habit. Its what he does.

Blogger Mr. Too Nice Guy said...
I also love all the conversation of inadvertent elbowing and how he can't help it. All the rest of the discussion about Howard is how he is a freak of nature, bodybuilder, insane physical specimen. And then you expect us to believe these are all just accident shots?

Blogger medrawt said...
Seriously, Anon, no one is talking about "a soft team gets a little physical". Is anyone here complaining about newly physical play from Nelson, Redick, Barnes, Pietrus, Lewis, Gortat, or Brandon Bass? No, we're talking about Dwight Howard, who was suspended for elbowing Sam Dalembert last year, who's racked up multiple flagrant points, and who's even injured his own teammates, both in games and in practices (iirc). This isn't new from Howard in this series, or this year.

Blogger Wormboy said...
The officiating stank. Which is too bad, becaus it takes away from orlando's effort. But there's a real difference between "physical" and dirty. The Celtics play physical, but not dirty, defense. Howard's getting a get a Karl Malone reputation.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
He hit Pierce with the INSIDE of his elbow!!! I have NEVER heard someone complain about being hit with the inside of an elbow. Pierce was writhing in pain on the floor out of habit. Its what he does.

Pierce was overacting -- it's what he does -- but that doesn't change the fact that after Dwight had already brought his arm down on Paul's face (which was correctly called a foul) he put a little extra force into it to send Pierce down. That's why I had a problem with the play...the extra mustard, not the initial foul, which was just a foul.

Anonymous DubDub said...
@Mr. Too Nice Guy
The only thing you got wrong was that he was helping Pierce up, not Rondo.

That was the dead-ball action where Gortat was getting his extra-curriculars in right?

@Dan B.
It's clearly an unnatural way to position himself. You'd think he'd want to use his height and get the ball as high as possible/keep it high on a offensive rebound, but instead his arms are at 90 degrees.

Nelson, Reddick, Lewis (at SF), Gortat/Bass, Howard lineups would be figuratively killing the C's. Playing Vince and Lewis in the wrong position is forcing them to literally go after the C's.

Game six may be an 'eff you' game for the ages, if the Celtics can get enough guys suited up.

Anonymous TBone said...
Seems a little overblown with the Dwight elbow attack. No complaints about the Pierce elbow, that was all kinds of dirty, but the Davis one seemed more of a "didn't care about avoiding the contact" type thing than anything, and as has been pointed out by anon above, Dwight wasn't in the same area code on Daniels' injury (Shard and Gortat were doubling him with Gortat's chest doing the damage, apparently).

Sure, that rap sheet isn't going to qualify him for any sportsmanship awards for the game, but with the Baby play at least it seems like we're getting far more of judging someone based on the result than what actually happened, and I remember bawful arguing pretty vehemently against this line of thinking during the Ariza/Fernandez debacle last year when every Blazer fan was ready to crucify Ariza for trying to block Rudy's breakaway layup just because Rudy's back hurt afterward. Not a clean play, I thought, but not really dirty either. More just unlucky for Baby.

He definitely deserved a bawful mention for the Pierce play, but the rest felt a little thin.

On the other hand, it's tough to argue with anything that lets you post a video of a Macho Man tribute.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dan, I went back and watched the replays of his "atomic elbows", the only instance you'd have a valid case against is the one against Pierce where it looked like they were gonna roll out the wheelchair again. When Big Baby got clocked in the face, Dwight wasn't even looking at him and was disrupted due to Nate's block anyway. On the Daniels concussion, he just ran into Gortat's nipple. Don't know why Bawful was blaming Dwight for that one.

And the refs will do something about it when they start calling every moving screen that KG sets.

Blogger chris said...
What cracked me up about Wheelchair Pierce's latest tears was the fact nobody bothered to help him up for a good 45 seconds after his most recent fall.

Blogger Cortez said...
"yes, the officiating was bad in this game but maybe Howard getting away with that elbow on Davis wasn't on them."

I agree. Howard isn't "swinging" his elbows. I also agree that he isn't too concerned about whether or not they make contact, nor should he be.

He's a NBA center in the conference finals. If he starts playing like he's in a church league (in which case I would expect for him to purposely tone his overall play down) against a bunch of Joe Six-Packs his career will be toast.

As for Perkins, at the next game I hope that they give him a technical as soon as he drives into the player's parking lot.

Stop crying so fucking much and learn how to address your grievances like an adult man.

In fact, I've never understood all the over the top histrionics and yapping that happens during the course of a game anyway. While Perkins wasn't that nutty (by his low standards) on that particular call, he typically looks like he's in a constant state of being anally raped.

So, kudos to the ref.

Blogger -Josh said...
@ Bawful
You're right about Pierce overacting. Maybe there was a little "extra mustard," but he was writhing on the floor for a good thirty seconds!

The other thing is, I just don't think Howard is intentionally elbowing anyone. You stated the main support for this theory in your article:

"Howard has wiped out other players (like Sammy Dalembert) with elbows and he's even concussed his own teammates!"

If he's concussed his own team mates it doesn't show a propensity for swinging the elbows with the intent to hurt people, it shows clumsiness, and not a whole lot else. I have to agree with Greggrant about the Baby elbow, whoever anonymous was about the Daniels travel (yeah, he totally just barreled into Gortat's chest, head down) and I agree that there was a little extra umph on the Pierce elbow, but he was also at a weird angle with would've required almost no effort to bring him down, and he did his fair share of acting.

That said, there was still some definite home cooking. Perkins getting t'd up twice was garbage, especially the second, and I'd bet that one or both will be rescinded. If not, well, that'll just add fuel to the "Stern wants the series to go seven" conspiracy theory.

Blogger Cortez said...
"...about Howard is how he is a freak of nature, bodybuilder, insane physical specimen. And then you expect us to believe these are all just accident shots?"

In general, bodybuilders aren't known for their cat-like reflexes or graceful agility. In fact, in context, bodybuilders aren't even considered to be among the strongest athletes when factoring in weight to strength ratios.

Plus, have you seen Howard's overall BASKETBALL skill set? It's pretty pedestrian.

I have zero problem believing he's hitting people on accident.

His free throw motion looks like he's going to hit himself on accident one day!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
As for Perkins, at the next game I hope that they give him a technical as soon as he drives into the player's parking lot.

Stop crying so fucking much and learn how to address your grievances like an adult man.

In fact, I've never understood all the over the top histrionics and yapping that happens during the course of a game anyway. While Perkins wasn't that nutty (by his low standards) on that particular call, he typically looks like he's in a constant state of being anally raped.

So, kudos to the ref.


While I agree with you in principle, I disagree in that refs allow players to do that crap all the time and provided they are walking away and not being obviously abusive, they let it go. However, they chose in this instance to get tough on Perkins.

As I always say, if the officating isn't going to be what I want it to be -- which means NOBODY gets to bitch about calls EVER -- then at the very least I want it to be consistent. If one player stomps away from a call in disgust and you T him up, that behavior should be applied to all players. If it isn't applied to all players, it's bullshit to pick and choose.

Blogger Cortez said...
"You'd think he'd want to use his height and get the ball as high as possible/keep it high on a offensive rebound, but instead his arms are at 90 degrees."

One of the first things a basketball player learns (or should learn) is that you keep your arms at 90 degrees to prevent you assignment from easily going around your blockout effort.

You keep your arms at 90's for the EXPLICIT purpose of having the opponent run into your upper arms/elbows. Plus keeping the ball close to your chest after a rebound is better protection and allow you more options with the ball than simply holding it over your head with arms extended.

Plus, if you attempted to jump with your arms extended in the air you wouldn't get very high. The force of your arms moving up helps you to elevate off the ground.

Anonymous Matt said...
As far as what happened to Big Baby, I had something similar happen to me a number of years ago playing pickup ball. I'm really short (about 5'4") and, for some unknown reason I thought that the rebound that was going towards the 6'5" guy on the other team might be there for the taking.
Obviously, I didn't get the board, but I thought he might try to put the ball on the deck, so I moved in to try to swipe the ball away. I ended up moving my face right under where he was dropping his elbows. If his elbow had been two inches to the right he probably would have broken my nose (instead of opening up a gash above my eye). He felt bad about it, but it was completely my fault, since I was rushing in underneath him.

That's not exactly what happened last night, but it's pretty close. I'm also not saying that Dwight is some innocent lamb, but I think there's a lot less intentionality (not a real word) to his elbows than some here are intimating. I mean, the fact that he's taking out teammates in practice (hopefully) means that sometimes he's not 100% sure of where his elbows are in relation to the players around him.

My favorite Karl Malone story is when David Robinson complained during the playoffs that every time Karl took a fadeaway jumper, he was kicking him in the balls.

Blogger Dooj said...
I think Perkins will have at least one technical rescinded. Probably the first, while the second one seemed bogus, there are similarities to what Vince Carter did when he got 'T'ed up on the sidelines.

I do think that Howard's elbow on Davis was inadvertent. Even so, I hope Davis is all right. People get hit in the face all the time in basketball. It was just unlucky that the Celtics got two people in the same game.

Also, Howard's after the ball foul on Pierce was a little dirty, though it looks worse because Pierce writhed around on the ground for 30 seconds. Then he gets up and is completely ok. However, Pierce did shove Reddick in a similar fashion in the third quarter. In any case, Perkins got the raw end of the deal this game, and I hope the league rescinds at least one technical.

Blogger Shiv said...
As much as I hate to admit it, I don't think the Davis concussion was Howard's fault, whether or not he's trying to not hurt people out there. From the video it looks like Nate slapped his hand pretty hard giving it some velocity that ended with Baby's face.

And I've always thought it strange that guys sprinting down the court and getting obliteratively tackled into the ground or support structure in mid-air don't get the foul call because the ball was blocked cleanly and body contact was after the block. From where I'm sitting there don't seem to be very many more situations more dangerous than that.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Oh, and I forgot to mention the foul where Dwight popped KG in the head with a 'bow last night. Well, it's been upgraded to a flagrant.

Blogger Daniel said...
Whatever. First of all, Celtics karmically deserve it. Second of all, everybody loved riding the Celtics nuts when they were shutting Howard down.

"OOOOH, Dwight can't handle physical play!"

Well, now he's playing physical and the same nut-riders are crying about it. The Charlotte series was combat basketball, straight out of the old Bill Laimbeer video game. Only it seemed Dwight got all the fouls called.

Perk, Wallace and company hack, shove, push, and throw 'bows themselves, and that's "just good defense". Well, suck it. You can't play physical basketball, then CRY when the other team gets physical with you. Give me a break. Typical Boston hypocrisy.

Blogger Noah said...
Does anyone know anyone who was at the game or heard what perk said on the 2nd one? The first one was bogus - I hope that gets taken away. I can sorta understand why it was an automatic T on site, but, with hindsight the league has to see that as accidental.

Blogger Robut M. Nixon said...
Figured Paulie Wheelabout's death-throes flopathon would have gotten more burn here. Or at least the no-call on his 4th-quarter shove of Barnes (?)

Anonymous UpA said...
Wow! I mean WOW!!! Come on Bawful, today's text was so biased that you could have better written it on green and white.

I've read your stuff for quite a while now and know that you've seen years and years of BB and that over the stretch that you've had this blog you've been pretty objective, but I guess you had a bad officiating night...

NBA has become so soft that even european players are dominating the post these days and now that a douchebag is being harsh on others you call him dirty, when you used to like McHale, Parrish Laimbeer and some of the old days bad guys, when they had some really HARD moves that could have been call dirty, but now, when your C's are getting the elbows you question Howard's moves, (whom I personally dislike very much), this is playoff time, these guys are playing each game on the verge of elimination and one or two elbows to demonstrate power inside is what any elite C or PF should be doing.

I do agree that the follow up on Rondo's block was too much, but it is also a "not on my house" kind of statement. And about Pierce's foul, YOU'VE GOTTA BE KIDDING, The Quarter Truth is sooo famous for falling as a dead corpse every freaking time someone puts a hand on him, YES there was a follow through from DH and yes it was not a friendly move but you can see Pierce letting his body fall as if he was shotgunned!

So, I understand the frustration and how bad officiating kills games, but this was some good old bad boy BB played by DH, no need to demonize him!

Anonymous teaguejd said...
That elbow on Davis was in no way intentional. Howard lands, then jumps away after the ball. He got hit pretty hard on the wrist by Robinson on the block (which was technically a foul), and his elbow came down where Davis face was. Howard throws a LOT of intentional bows. That wasn't one of em.

As for the Rondo thing, in the second it shows after the block I can't tell if Howard's body is rotating funny as he lands, if he is deliberately pushing Rondo, or Rondo is flopping.

As for the 90 degree thing (which wasn't what Howard was trying to do there, but applies to other boards)...its what you are supposed to do. Come down with the ball, as if you are gonna try and pop it in front of your chest, swing around to catch any sneaky guards trying to strip it, then give it to someone who can actually dribble. Its rebounding 101. For turnover prone centers (like Howard) who have a tendency to bring the ball down low (like Howard), its probably something his coaches have been trying to drill into him for years.

Dirty or not, your big men are supposed to swing their elbows freely. Its what they have been doing for many decades now. Hell, I PRAY for Gasol to throw more bows.

Howard gets just as many bows as he receives, and has been getting played mad max rules most of these playoffs. Is it so surprising that he dishes em out with relish?

As a Lakers fan, I get far more pissed at Howard's moving screens than his elbows. He damn near murdered Fisher last year with those.

Blogger Ely said...
That Pierce play was garbage and typical Pierce who suffers a career-ending injury at least once a series.

"a little delirious" -nice euphamism by Doc for "mentally challenged"

Blogger Barry said...
I think we can agree that the problem really is inconsistency on part of the referees. They are only human, but here's two nearly identical situations, and you call them both differently. Perhaps accumulation had a part in it, but then there's that cooling-down period after a foul.

If you call a tech for both Gortat and Perkins, fine. It's not totally kosher, but it works.

I agree with Bawful, Howard's not going out of his way to hit people nor is he trying to avoid them.

Blogger 49er16 said...
The way Howard throws elbows, does he remind anyone else of Karl Malone? I remember when the Kings played the Jazz in the 99 playoffs, Malone hit Webber with an elbow.

Malone's signature move was too grab a rebound and swing his elbows. He would always catch anyone near him with one of them.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wow! I mean WOW!!! Come on Bawful, today's text was so biased that you could have better written it on green and white.

Two wows? All I can say is...wow.

First off, what do you mean by biased exactly? I said the Celtics played poorly and lost. And although I did rag on the officiating, nowhere did I say it cost Boston the game. What cost them was the game was sucking. I couldn't really pinpoint any exact thing because they were pretty bad offensively and defensively, just didn't have it. Can you find anywhere I specificalysay otherwise?

The only bias, if you can call it that, is where I complain about Howard. There's no real reason to go into it any further. I've said what I felt about the situation. But for those of you who want to make excuses for Dwight, just ask yourself this: Why is it, in a league full of uber-athletes who are hungry and competitive, why is it that it is Dwight Howard -- and Dwight Howard alone in today's game -- who consistently gets into these scrapes?

Maybe it's just coincidence. Maybe it's just coincidence that back in the 90s Karl Malone was always knocking people out. It's possible, I guess.

But when the same guy keeps hitting people with elbows over and over and over, keeps hurting people, it gets my attention. And it's not like this came out of nowhere. Go through my archives...I've been building arguments against Dwight and his elbows for years now...yes, even when he's not playing the Celtics.

But hey, maybe you're right. Maybe all the other dozens of players who aren't tagging people with elbows all the time are just getting "lucky" that they don't have all the "accidents" Dwight has.

Blogger Robut M. Nixon said...
@Robut M. Nixon

Check that, the shove was against Redick, not Barnes.

Blogger Robut M. Nixon said...
@Robut M. Nixon

Check that. The shove was against Redick, not Barnes.

Blogger Will said...
Bleeding Heart Pessimist: you mean like this?
http://www.makingpages.org/hoops/malonekickhorry.jpg

Anonymous Sorbo said...
I'm not sure, but they may have put up an infirmary last night behind the Celtic bench. Wallace and Big Baby headed to the locker room early. And with Rondo's back spasms (he looked stiff during portions of Game 5), Tony Allen hurting, and KG's knees (I don't think he's 100% yet), Games 6 and 7 will come down to Pierce (who took some time off at the end of the season because of injury) and Allen. Allen looks like he knows he has to play great for Boston to win, and he's probably leaving next season.

Meanwhile, we may need to stop knocking Redick, because he plays better with the starting unit than Carter. Yes, he's a Duke a-hole who has been spotty defensively (although you'd be worn out, too, chasing Allen), but he spreads the floor along with Barnes, which Carter cannot do. I kills me to say it, but he actually, kinda, sorta, maybe might be pretty good. And unlike Carter, he has a short memory and doesn't shrink from big moments. He's like the shorter American version of Turkoglu minus "ball."

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Howard's like John Stockton more than Malone: the quiet instigator. Stockton was one of the dirtiest players of all time, but people forget that because he rarely got into fights. He'd piss the other guy off, that guy would retaliate, and then Stockton would just have a blank expression. Guys that are guilty (Wallace/Fisher) plead, bark, laugh, or roll their eyes at the ref after pulling cheap moves. Howard just looks down, stares at the floor, and shows no emotion, like Stockton

Blogger Dooj said...
The Painted Area has an interesting take on the second technical called.

"I was surprised that the television commentary about the second Perkins technical focused on what he might have said or how he walked away, and neglected what to me seemed like the clear trigger for the technical call: Kendrick's "air punch"."

If he did swing at him (I'd have to check the replay), then it does warrant a technical by the leagues rules. However, the first one shouldn't have been called.

Anonymous teaguejd said...
Like I said, Howard catches about as many elbows as he dishes out. When you play someone as physical as he gets played, don't be surprised, and bitch about it when he fires back. Same thing happened with Shaq. You can only hit guys so long before they start hitting back. Its human nature. Its like throwing rocks at a beehive, or fucking around with an aggressive animal. You WILL get yourself and/or others hurt.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I guess the league shares my bias, because the NBA has rescinded Perk's second T.

Anonymous teaguejd said...
First one was the one that should have been rescinded. Second one was after a warning had been issued to Boston.

Anonymous UpA said...
That was one Wow too many from me :)
I accept that.

I get your point on not trying to blame the Refs on Boston's L, I never got into saying so, and I do think that you were JUST pointing out how Howards elbows were flying over to people's faces, you did not say DH was dirty, but bringing up the subject more than twice on the same post and even bringing a well-deserved Macho man tribute on his name is a little too much for just "pinpointing".

I concede that you have always said that DH is a clumsy ball of muscle who has some really basic BB skills (and I totally agree with you on everything), if you should be described in one word that is Consistent... but I think that we as Fans should push the NBA for a more physical kind of playing, and letting this guys be Machos.

Let's get it physical like in the Bad guys days and in MJ's days where knees and elbows in the air were an everyday thing.

And just to point out something, there is a number of players in the league that are also being tagged as dirty, KG, Reggie Evans, Ron Artest, Varejao even Kobe, so not only DH is getting the call as a Master of Concussions...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1166789/index.htm

Blogger Evan said...
I hate the celts as much as the next SoCal native but damn the second tech on Perkins pissed me off. BAAADDDD, bad call.

Blogger Will said...
"Let's get it physical like in the Bad guys days and in MJ's days where knees and elbows in the air were an everyday thing."
Please, God, no. I still have nightmares about Knicks-Heat games with final scores of 73-70 (OT).

Blogger Andrei said...
I think as soon as the technical was assessed on Perkins everyone knew it would be rescinded. Now the real question before the next game is whether they're going to allow the Mortal Combat to continue on the inside or whether Howard is going to get tagged with a few cheapies early on to blunt his atomic elbows.

Now that the series has gone at least six games Stern is faced with the dilemma of either extending the series to seven games or getting the league's cash cow into the finals for another "classic" match-up with the Lakers.

Blogger Dan B. said...
UpA -- There's a difference between physical play and fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

Anonymous Boom's Bullet Fedora said...
If you watch the Howard/Big Baby clip again, please look at how Davis falls. I don't think the concussion is from Howard's elbow, but how he hits the ground. His head whips forward and he immediately falls backwards. THAT is where I think the concussion came from, not the elbow. Again, just check the clip and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Blogger Preveen said...
I'm not a big Howard fan, but I'm not so ready to blame him for Baby. Thought Nate's block was what made Dwight come down like that. Tho it took me multiple slo-mo replays to come to that conclusion.
Pierce, I thought was fouled and was overacting. Almost thought we were gonna see another wheelchair. He was acting like he got stabbed, for chrissake! And was spending waay too much time whining and grandstanding in the 4th looking for calls instead of getting back on D when the Magic was putting some distance between them.
On Perkins, both calls were truly daft. There was another Celtic who picked up a daft tech in the 4th. Rondo?
But no one wanna praise Crawford for trying to hold up Big Baby? Jesus, I thought the man was gonna get steamrolled!

Oh, BTW, disappointed I'm not first with this, but some additional stuff on Randolph.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/27/zach-randolph-drug-invest_n_591705.html

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Randolph deserves Gasol money, because he does all the little things that the Spaniard does AND is a druglord.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I hate to admit it but Daniel is right. As Celtics fans, ever since we got the Big Three we've made a career out of punking and embarrassing people. Basically, we've bullied every team that let us. Now Orlando is showing some balls and giving it right back. Can't complain.

Anonymous Kev McD said...
A lot of venom coming out for Howard here, a lot of it unnecessary. I understand he elbowed Pierce, but this is the same Pierce who shoved Redick to the ground after the whistle. I find it very difficult to feel bad for these C's.

And please stop blaming Howard for Daniels. DANIELS RAN INTO GORTAT'S CHEST. I hope the collective media can get this through their heads.

Anonymous Matt said...
"Howard has wiped out other players (like Sammy Dalembert) with elbows and he's even concussed his own teammates!"

So you contend that Howard WANTED to concuss his own teammate?

Oh, and why no mention of Paul Pierce's takedown of Redick, as long as we're being diplomatic?

Blogger Dooj said...
Pierce's shove of Reddick got upgraded to a flagrant 1.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Dwight doesn't elbow people on purpose. You only need to take a look at his goofy smiley face to know there's nothing going on upstairs. But a rhino doesn't need to try to intentionally hurt you in order to destroy your face. Thats what Dwight is, a goofy, clumsy rhino that will occasionally obliterate a man's face. The problem is I don't really see a way to punish that kind of clumsiness without having Dwight thrown out in the first 3 minutes of the game due to flagrant fouls. Its kinda like punishing flopping, I wish there was a way to do it but I really don't see a way of doing it without fucking up a lot of calls.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
So you contend that Howard WANTED to concuss his own teammate?

Of course not. As I said in my post, my belief isn't necessarily that Howard is intentionally trying to hurt people, only that he isn't NOT trying to hurt people...that he's consciously or semi-consciously free with his elbows because that seems to be -- in his eyes and in the eyes of many of his supporters -- his only "defense" against getting roughed up by opposing players.

That kind of conscious carelessness results in injuries, including to his own teammates. That's the point.

Oh, and why no mention of Paul Pierce's takedown of Redick, as long as we're being diplomatic?

There are hard, borderline dirty fouls all the time -- Pierce's shot on Redick was certainly one of them, and it was correctly upgraded to a Flagrant 1 -- but I don't necessarily draw attention to each and every one of them until they 1) have a dramatic impact on a given game or 2) become a trend. Honestly, how often does Paul Pierce deliver a foul like that? Very rarely. Dwight deals out punishment like that a lot and has for years.

Hey, I dig Karl Malone -- he's one of my all-time favorite players -- but I never hesitate to admit that the guy was deadly with his massive arms (Google "Basketbawful Karl Malone's Greatest Hits). I really like KG, but I have ripped his ass for going after guys like Jose Calderon, not just because it was a superdick move but because (in my opinion) KG only goes "tough guy" on guards...you never see him going apeshit on other big men.

It's odd. My site is Basketbawful, where I complain about bad basketball and the bad behavior of basketball players. It's not like I don't go after the teams I root for, or the players I like. Somehow, that always gets lost when I go after somebody else's team or player.

Anonymous Bryan said...
"Give me a break. Typical Boston hypocrisy"

Thank you!! Howard has absolutely been molested by Rasheed, Kg, Perkins, and Baby like a 10 year old boy at Michael Jacksons house (too soon?) When Boston just spends a series hacking guys (i.e. '08 finals) the opposing team is called soft. But when pierce talks tough then follows it up with a wheel chair Boston gets all this praise for being gritty. Its called karma. And Howard is delivering justice with these elbows.

I rewound the big baby ko like 10 times and said, "Dance to that, fatty." I personally enjoyed it. It was like seeing Bill Laimbeer getting punched right in his stupid face again. Never could get enough.

I just cant feel bad for a team that has made it a point to show up teams, hack people, pull dick moves and generally act in a douchey way.

Anonymous Matt said...
No sarcasm, I appreciate your responses to my questions above. I am a Jazz fan (and therefore Laker-loather) and have seriously had a tough time deciding who to root for in this series (translation: deciding who I think has the best chance of beating the Lakers). Both teams have impressed me so far, so much so that if your comments had been against the Celtics, I would have defended them too. Anyway, great site, been reading for over a year.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Thank you!! Howard has absolutely been molested by Rasheed, Kg, Perkins, and Baby like a 10 year old boy at Michael Jacksons house (too soon?) When Boston just spends a series hacking guys (i.e. '08 finals) the opposing team is called soft. But when pierce talks tough then follows it up with a wheel chair Boston gets all this praise for being gritty. Its called karma. And Howard is delivering justice with these elbows.

Okay, seriously...you're trying to tell me without ANY irony that before Elbowgate, Perk, 'Sheed and Baby have been having a completely one-sided wrasslin' match with Dwight? That he hasn't responded, retaliated, pushed, shoved, or tossed guys around AT ALL?

Then, no offense, you're full of it.

In the first two games, he was shoving guys in the face and popping them in the chest with elbows to get position. No, really, go back and watch the film. Were the Celtics hacking the shit out of him? Absolutely. But Howard wasn't exactly a pacifist before he started knocking dudes out.

I'm not saying "No physical play," nor am I saying "the Celtics can be physical with Dwight and he just has to stand back and take it." Get real. All I'm saying is he needs to watch his damn arms and elbows. He keeps hitting people in the face, doesn't seem to care.

I rewound the big baby ko like 10 times and said, "Dance to that, fatty." I personally enjoyed it. It was like seeing Bill Laimbeer getting punched right in his stupid face again. Never could get enough.

For all the bias and hypocrisy charges that you people are leveling out, I can't help but see a little -- scratch that, a lot -- in the responses you're giving. Also, if you're honestly comparing Baby with Laimbeer, then you've lost your perspective.

Blogger Drake said...
Sorbo:

Good point about Stockton. He may have only been 6'1" and 170 lbs or so, but he was known to set some of the meanest picks in the NBA. How? He would point his sharp elbows towards the defenders with the misfortune of running into his picks, showing no mercy to their ribs and soft organs. While he looked like an angelic choir boy with stubble, his reputation of dirty play does make a lot of sense once you consider the fact that Karl Malone was his teammate for nearly 20 years.

Blogger Alex said...
Dwight Howard knocks more heads than Moe Howard.

And to people saying the Celtics "karmically deserve" stuff; what, are you fucking twelve? Karma? Really? Get the fuck out.

Blogger Dooj said...
@ Bryan

I don't know you at all, but enjoying seeing a player come so close to a possibly life-threatening injury makes you come off as some weird sicko. Did you also dance a little jig when Bogut dislocated his elbow?

Anonymous DKH said...
Thanks for the quotes and the game summary.

It's odd. My site is Basketbawful, where I complain about bad basketball and the bad behavior of basketball players. It's not like I don't go after the teams I root for, or the players I like. Somehow, that always gets lost when I go after somebody else's team or player.

It doesn't always get lost; it's just that the people who realize it don't whine as aggressively or with as much bias. Some of us recognize what the site is. :)

Anyone who thinks this is just Howard being physical in response is silly. Constant headshots is not just being "physical," it's being irresponsible. I don't think all of Howard's shots are intentional, but he is certainly irresponsible with his lack of regard for others' safety on the court.

Maybe some people don't think that's something a player should be responsible for, but as a neutral fan who's just looking for some entertainment out of this series, I want it to be decided by good basketball rather than headshots. Last night's game (or the little I saw) certainly wasn't good basketball or good entertainment.

Anonymous SirGirthNasty said...
Do I think Howard is trying to play more physical because Perkins has pretty much been overwhelming him by pushing him out of the paint? Yes. Was that elbow on Davis intentional? No.

Nate Robinson clearly caused Dwight to alter how he was reaching for the ball. I don't really think there's anyway for him to be looking up at the ball during a tight game and have the wherewithal to know where Davis' chin is to tag him with an elbow. It just happened.

Honestly, I think all NBA players roll around like girls. My opinion is, if you eventually get up from the play and continue the game...then you should've have gotten on your feet immediately. Even if it hurt.

Blogger BadDave said...
SirGirthNasty - except Steve Nash.

Blogger BadDave said...
I was a little disappointed when nobody took my Karl bait earlier.

Bawful's point is very valid compared to Karl. Karl threw the bows in two fashions.

1) To ensure that the rebound was his. He notoriously grabbed the ball, pushed his elbows out and spun around like Big Red. Of course, everyone knew he did it and it was obvious when he would do it, so injuries were less common.

2) Because he meant it. And don't you doubt it. The thing I always hated were people calling Karl a coward. He'd go toe-to-toe, and he was an equal opportunity mauler. Seriously - would you mess with Robinson? Former Navy badass, purveyor of the tight fade and a holder of a quadruple-double? I didn't think so.

At any rate - nobody seems to understand that Howard is just decrying "lassez faire!" as his elbows mysteriously flop around. Accuse Howard of elbows and he bashfully denies it. Accuse Karl and he would just glare at you until you found something else to do.

Anonymous ben said...
It's unbelievable anyone is blaming Dwight for the hit on Baby. Watch the replay again, Nate's block sends Dwight's left arm off-balance which in turn, clocks Baby square in the face.

What the fuck is he supposed to do anyway? Go up with his arms tucked into his chest?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
It's unbelievable anyone is blaming Dwight for the hit on Baby. Watch the replay again, Nate's block sends Dwight's left arm off-balance which in turn, clocks Baby square in the face.

What the fuck is he supposed to do anyway? Go up with his arms tucked into his chest?


I covered this in the post, but I'll repeat myself: It wasn't even the intial hit that bothered me, it was the fact that he continued to drive his hand toward Baby's head after the initial contact...which was obviously significant enough to cause a freaking concussion.

Here's an example for you. This Monday, Evil Ted hit a guy in the face in our pickup league. It was a bad hit, and he knew it immediately because human beings usually know what they're doing with their bodies. ET drew his hand/arm away so fast that at first I wasn't sure he even made contact...except for the fact that the dude he hit went down and was bleeding from the eye.

That should have been Dwight's reaction. He made brutal contact with Baby's head for whatever reason and then continued moving his arm/elbow in the direction of Baby's head rather than away from it. That was my main complaint, that's where it went from incidental contact to "WTF are you doing, dude?"

Blogger winnetou said...
I'm surprised nobody linked this, especially after AnacondaHL's snickering, but the first thing that came to my mind after seeing Big Baby stagger back up the court was this snickers commercial.

Anonymous Boom's Bullet Fedora said...
Check around the 1:05 mark of the Youtube video that was posted on Bawful. Baby's head snaps forward. I'm tellin' ya, I really think that caused the concussion, not Howard's elbow. Does anyone else see that?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow, seriously, cry more Boston fans. Your team has made a career out of delivering Austin Powers style "Judo chops!" to people in the paint, and then you whine when someone hits you with the People's Elbow?

Seriously, when did this "tough" Boston squad grow a set of gaping vaginas? Welcome to the playoffs, douchebags.

It's extremely hard to have any sympathy whatsoever for this Boston team. Cry all you want, complain about the physical play, but I personally hope to see a UFC-style elbowfest in game 6, and I'm pretty sure these bitchy Celtics are going to catch the bad end of it.

WV: "Ingst," as in "There's sure alot of ingst from Celtics fans today."

Blogger Kimla said...
After reading the comments, it seems that you had originally included the line "[i]n the fourth quarter, Marquis Daniels got whacked in the face by Howard while trying to make a pass. Daniels was -- get this -- called for travelling on the play. And, like baby, Marquis suffered a concussion[,]" which you have apparently quietly removed without comment. Now, I read an article soon after the game was over saying exactly this, which might be where you got it from, but it would definitely help if you had checked the facts first.

"I guess the league shares my bias, because the NBA has rescinded Perk's second T."

Good non sequitur here, considering that UpA never mentioned either of the technical fouls in his post regrading bias.

"Why is it, in a league full of uber-athletes who are hungry and competitive, why is it that it is Dwight Howard -- and Dwight Howard alone in today's game -- who consistently gets into these scrapes?"

First, he's the Defensive Player of the Year, leading the league in rebounds and blocks, and among NBA players probably spends the most time per game in or around the paint area, all of which increase his chances of contact. Second, and this is only conjecture on my part, perhaps other players do throw elbows as well, but they aren't as muscular as Howard, and thus have a smaller chance of hurting someone. Not many people initially realized that Howard had elbowed Davis, and it only became known because of Davis' concussion; if it had been someone else doing the elbowing, perhaps we would never have known about it.

"As I said in my post, my belief isn't necessarily that Howard is intentionally trying to hurt people, only that he isn't NOT trying to hurt people...that he's consciously or semi-consciously free with his elbows because that seems to be -- in his eyes and in the eyes of many of his supporters -- his only "defense" against getting roughed up by opposing players."

So what should his defense be? His musculature and strength dictates that if he tries the same things his opponents use on him, he's going to injure them more than they would injure him.

BadDave, regarding Malone: "He notoriously grabbed the ball, pushed his elbows out and spun around like Big Red. Of course, everyone knew he did it and it was obvious when he would do it, so injuries were less common."

Well, perhaps this should be the approach that Howard's opponents should employ.

Blogger Cortez said...
"That should have been Dwight's reaction."

No he shouldn't have. There's a difference in focus and intensity in the NBA vs. a local pickup game.

If you start tailoring your effort around the fact that you may hit someone, your effectiveness will take a nosedive.

Once again, I don't believe Howard is throwing his elbows purposely and I most certainly haven't seen any viable evidence of him intentionally trying to injure anyone.

He's playing just like every other stiff mechanical player I've seen throughout my life. He just happens to be very strong, tall and fast for his height.

"He made brutal contact with Baby's head for whatever reason"

Brutal? Good grief Charlie Brown! It looks to me that he took the real damage to his head once he hit the floor.

What I would take umbrage with is the tendency of these goofs not to take the effort to indicate that the blows were indeed accidental.

I've accidentally hurt a few people (offensively and defensively) over the years during the course of legal basketball moves. I typically stop to see if they require any further attention.

I also continue to play exactly how I was playing as I didn't do anything wrong in the first place. In a 90' by 50' box with 10 men in constant motion, someone is going to get hit (and possibly hurt) at some point.

Anonymous Bryan said...
"Accuse Karl and he would just glare at you until you found something else to do."

Haha great line.

Anonymous ben said...
I covered this in the post, but I'll repeat myself: It wasn't even the intial hit that bothered me, it was the fact that he continued to drive his hand toward Baby's head after the initial contact...which was obviously significant enough to cause a freaking concussion.

Here's an example for you. This Monday, Evil Ted hit a guy in the face in our pickup league. It was a bad hit, and he knew it immediately because human beings usually know what they're doing with their bodies. ET drew his hand/arm away so fast that at first I wasn't sure he even made contact...except for the fact that the dude he hit went down and was bleeding from the eye.

That should have been Dwight's reaction. He made brutal contact with Baby's head for whatever reason and then continued moving his arm/elbow in the direction of Baby's head rather than away from it. That was my main complaint, that's where it went from incidental contact to "WTF are you doing, dude?"


Watching it again, Dwight eyes were completely focused on the ball. The whole sequence happened in about 2 seconds, people didn't know it was Dwight's elbow until we saw a replay. Dwight doesn't have the reputation of being a smooth, finesse player anyway, expecting him to have the presence of mind to pull his miss-balanced arm away from Big Baby's face in the span of a second or two is just lulz. Dwight fall on Pierce had some valid concern but this Big Baby concussion is the result of both players being in awkward positions.

As a Rockets fan, I couldn't care less about the outcome of this series. I'm just amazed at the indictment Dwight is getting considering he gets clawed at and beat up more than anyone sans Yao.

I'll have to admit, seeing the paper tigers on the Celtics squirm when someone gets tough with them is amusing though.

Anonymous teaguejd said...
It IS kind of hard to pull your arm away from someone as you are coming down on top of them from your jump. Howard went up, came down, elbow hit Davis while Howard was still coming down, then he jumped away.

Shit, we ALL admit Howard throws intentional bows, but that just wasn't one of em.

Unintentional ones can do just as much damage. I almost had my jaw dislocated last week when i caught an elbow on a drive. If the guy had been closer to my size, or I closer to his, I prolly would have been knocked the fuck out or had a broken jaw. My mouth didn't close right the rest of the night (insert dick joke here), and it was popping and sore for the next 2 days. Was it deliberate? No. Did it hurt like a motherfucker? Of course it did! And that was in a situation where both parties had a LOT more control of the contact and the way it occurred.

As a friend of mine put it, Davis got caught between gravity and the ground.

Anonymous Bryan said...
@ Bryan
"I don't know you at all, but enjoying seeing a player come so close to a possibly life-threatening injury makes you come off as some weird sicko."

Listen, millions of people love manny pacquiao and cheer his ko's. Mike Tyson was the biggest craze in the late 80's because he was causing fighters brain damage in the first round.

Now i know in ball that isnt exactly what you sign up for, but America as a culture has no problem watching football players recklessly shorten each others life span with hits that equate to car crashes at 35 mph. Do i find injuries funny, no. But I know people took enjoyment out of seeing chris childs punch kobe in the face. Is it because he wasnt injured in the fight? And if kobe WAS injured then no one would take enjoyment out of it right? Please.

I was at the Clippers game Livingston blew his knee out and i felt horrible for the kid. Still do. Big Baby just doesnt generate that kind of reaction for me. This is the same guy who broke his hand on his friends face. Please dont put him on a pedestal.

And for the record, I wasnt trying to say Bill Laimbeer and Big Baby were the same. Not even close. I just happen to strongly dislike Baby and some of his celtics teamates the way i disliked Laimbeer.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
So Perkins gets his second t rescinded (it was b.s. and should have been) but when Amar'''''e walked on the court they enforced that dumb rule?

Anonymous Nikhil said...
Quibbling, but isn't it supposed to be "shoo-in"?

Blogger spongefrob said...
OK. I'm a Boston homer, no doubt about it... My five kids are named Bobby Orr, Hondo, Yazstremski, Larry and Youklis.... And they are nicknamed, in order, Red, Cousy, Yazstremski, Legend and Yooouuuk. I think both Tommy Heinsohn is and Johnny Most was rational and fair-minded. I can't stand the Fakers and don't even get me started on the Jets. I plead guiltier than most to love of all things Boston sports.

Having said that, however, That fucking game made me so upset I couldn't use verbs for two entire days. How in the name of all that's green do you get two concussions in one game and not have many more ejections? To my way of thinking the Marquis Daniels concussion was the more telling of the two: you don't get a concussion by a simple bump like that unless you've already been knocked in the head several times... and since Daniels has been riding the pine a whole lot recently, it had to have occured in the space of the time he was playing.

It was very clear to me that the refs took a set against the Celtics... how do you call a ticky-tack on Perkins, then an ejection by technical... then another tech on Rondo by the referee who wasn't anywhere near the infraction that Rondo was complaining against.. Meanwhile, Orlandos playing overtly physical. I got nothing against overtly physical (I cheered when McHale clotheslined Rambis... ), but the referees are there to see that it don't get out of hand... and in that they failed completely. This game was out of hand.

Yeah, sure, the Celts have been going physical, especially on Howard... but nobody's got a concussion as a result... much less two. I've been watching Celtics basketball for 44 of my 43 years (mother was a fan, too...) and I can't remember any concussions, much less two in one game.

I blame Stan Van Blimpy. That fucker can reel in his players and it starts in practice. If, as has been alledged upstream, Howard has concussed his own teammates, then that coach has failed. Sit him down. Punish him until he learns to play the non-contact fucking game.

In fact, I think the league shoulda called a flagrant on Howard and sit him down for game six in Boston As it is they'll probably just tell the refs to clamp down and we'll get a game of stunningly slow pace and set a new record for free throw attempts.

Blogger spongefrob said...
To all you who are trying to rationalize Howards actions in the concussion of Davis (and Davis lost a tooth, too, I hear...) I got one thing to say to you:

STFU.

Basketball is a non-contact sport. There is contact but the refs are there to keep it from getting out of hand and penalize those who attempt to gain advantage through aggressive physical contact. That's the game we love.

And, though I'm a Boston homer, I love Dwight Howard. I enjoy watching the sheer joy he takes in being in the game. His goofy smile has never yet failed to make me smile. He's a guy, I believe, who's just happy to be where he's at. That's a good thing. But he's careless with his elbows and he gains an advantage through that the game does not allow. That's the fault of his coaches and the referees. It's getting out of hand however: concussions in the NBA have spiked upwards recently ( http://neurosurgery.ucla.edu/workfiles/In%20the%20news/Hovda%5B1%5D.Sac.Bee.pdf)

Ultimately, I think the blame lies with the league. I think the playoff schedule is too brutal. It used to be 3 game series with a seven game final. Then they went to a 3-game first round, 5-game conference finals and a 7-game finals. Now that all the rounds are best-of-7, it's just too much. The winning team has to play a minimum of 98 games throughout the season... and can max out at well over a hundred games for the whole season if all the series go seven games.

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