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Too Bad The Phoenix Suns Are Gone

Admit it. You miss the Phoenix Suns, too.

It didn't hit me until I watched Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals yesterday how much I wished that I was seeing Game 7 of Suns-Spurs instead. Now, no offense to Utah - they earned their place in the conference finals - but wouldn't you rather be watching Amare Stoudemire catching alley-oops from Steve Nash right now? Or Shawn Marion taking that funky, two-hand, shot put jumper? Or Leandro Barbosa speeding down the court for a layup or two?

I know folks got really worked up after Golden State upset Dallas, but with the Jazz making it out of that bracket, don't you kind of wish the Mavericks were still around? Without the Suns or Mavs, we have to watch San Antonio and Utah. . .afjdkhfadjkfhas. . .afdsan. . (I'm sorry, I dozed off on my computer just typing that sentence.)

The Spurs and Jazz play high-efficiency - if not high-energy - basketball, rarely make mistakes and rely on successful playoff staples such as low-post scoring, solid point guard play, ball movement and great defense. For hardcore hoops fans, this is the series you want - okay, maybe even hardcore hoops fans don't want this.

San Antonio and Utah both played exciting series in the first and second rounds, but that was mostly because their opponents were worth watching -- the Spurs had Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony and the Suns; the Jazz had T-Mac and Yao and gun-slinging Warriors. But San Antonio and Utah together? Let's be honest, this matchup really is a nightmare for a league that has had trouble attracting casual fans to its product in late May and June.

It's even worse with Detroit and Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. Each game in that series will be like, "First team to score 80, wins." Don't ya think?

Unfortunately, high-scoring teams like the Suns keep us entertained during the regular season, but most of us know that they won't win a championship. Small ball is fun, but doesn't get it done. Think about it, you need defense and a big man or you go home ringless. Six of the past seven championships have been won by Tim Duncan or Shaquille O'Neal. Duncan is looking like he's going to make it seven out of eight, but most fans are already familiar with him. They know that he only gets excited complaining to the referees, that he likes to shoot off the glass, that he's fundamentally sound, that . . .snooze.

For once, it would've been nice to be entertained in the NBA Finals. With the championship series shaping up to be Spurs-Pistons Part II, that is virtually impossible. Which brings me back to the Suns.

They truly could've saved the NBA from boredom's stranglehold on its seminal event.

We'll never know if Phoenix really was the better team, as Coach Mike D'Antoni repeatedly claimed. I picked the Spurs to win in seven, but after the Suns stole Game 4 and regained homecourt advantage, they looked like they could get it done. It was pretty depressing to hear Nash talk after the Suns lost in Game 6 on Friday. He said the series might've been different if Stoudemire and Boris had played in Game 5, and that the Suns will forever be "haunted" by those suspensions.

I know a lot of people believe the NBA - specifically Stu Jackson and David Stern - took the series away from the Suns when it suspended Stoudemire and Diaw, but I think they are placing the blame on the wrong people. Stoudemire and Diaw were at fault for leaving the bench with 18 seconds left in Game 4. They broke a crystal-clear, non-negotiable rule and they were justly punished. Would anyone have cared if Marcus Banks and Jalen Rose had ran down the court instead of Stoudemire and Diaw? It's just a shame that Diaw and especially Stoudemire left the bench. You look back at all of the questionable suspensions the league has handed down in recent years, it has always - always - been consistent with this rule.

But being around Nash last week helped me gain a greater appreciation for the guy. Before the league announced the suspensions, I had every intention of writing a story about how Nash has been playing with and talking with a greater sense of urgency this season, given how he's 33 and won two MVPs but has yet to get to an NBA Finals.

I just thought about how he has called his teammates out on numerous occasions - local reporters said he was more vocal than usual this season. He blamed players arriving in camp out of shape as the reason for the team's 1-5 start and he has questioned their heart and focus. At no time was his criticism more pointed than after Game 1 against the Spurs, when he was forced to watch the closing seconds on the bench as blood streamed down, like a leaky faucet, from the bridge of his nose. He called the effort "unacceptable" and asked, "How many times can you talk about it?"

I mean, Nash just looked completely focused on getting that ring. Nothing was standing in his way - if that meant he had to take a head-on collision with Tony Parker, a knee to the groin from Bruce Bowen or get decked by Robert Horry.

When I asked D'Antoni about it, I realized how off-based I might've been. " It makes a nice story. I know why we go there, but naw," D'Antoni said with his West Virginia drawl. "He is the most competitive guy I've ever seen, all the time, anywhere and any stage in his career. You don't do what he's done without an incredible competitive fire."

D'Antoni then mentioned how Nash threw a chair in Memphis two seasons ago. "That would really take away what he's done; how he got to the NBA or even the last three years with us. You can not be any more competitive, any more fiery, any more I'm laying it on the line right now for every thing I've got the last three years that I've had him," D'Antoni said. "I would not say, 'Yeah, he's more now. That would mean he was less - and that's not possible. So, he's just focused and he's going to do everything he can to get to that championship or get just get to the next round, that's what his thing is."

I asked Nash if felt like his window for winning a championship was closing and if it drove him to play harder this season. "I don't even think about it," Nash said. "Hopefully, I feel the same way as I did my second or third year. It doesn't matter how many years I play for, or how many years I've already played, I'm trying to win this year. That's all I'm concerned with."

Trying to work the same question from another angle, I asked him if he's approaching the game any differently. "Inevitably you are, because you are always evolving, but it's not anything conscious. Hopefully, I was just as competitive last year," Nash said.

I really wish Diaw and Stoudemire hadn't left the bench, giving us at least one more game to watch the Suns, one more game to witness the competitive fire of Nash. Who knows? They might've defeated San Antonio and really given some hope to the little guy.

By Michael Lee  |  May 21, 2007; 9:16 AM ET
 
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Comments

I don't feel sorry for the Suns. For a seasoned, veteran team, they showed no savvy and acted like crybabies.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 21, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

So kicks to the achilles, knees to the groin, and cross checks into scorers' tables are what you call 'savvy'? So with a rule that leaves no room for interpretation, there's room for interpretation when Tim Duncan violates the rule in the same game? Oh, ok. Only thing good about this is now I can go to work fully rested and refreshed with there being no need to stay up and watch the rest of this atrociousness.

Posted by: walkdwalk | May 21, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for them. Under the same rules, Duncan could've been suspended for leaving the bench during an incident (that wasn't classified as an incident) in the second quarter. In any event there was wiggle room because they left the bench for a few seconds, were restrained and did not escalate the situation. It was BS and the NBA ought to be ashamed at what they did. Once again Stu Jackson shows his ass to the world.

Posted by: George Templeton | May 21, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I wish people would just let the Tim Duncan excuse go. I think everyone knows what an altercation is and what was going on when Duncan stood up was not an altercation. Instead of crying about it, Suns fans should be mad at their players for ignoring a rule that has been in place for an awfully long time.

Posted by: Jason | May 21, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

What people still watching the NBA ???

Posted by: Deepak | May 21, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

That's the whole point Jason. Something happened on the court (with Jones and Elson), Tim got up off the bench. Later, something happened on the court (with Horry and Nash), Amare and Boris got up off the bench. In both cases, the player(s) getting up off the bench had no interaction with the players on the floor. The only difference is the interpretation of what is or what isn't an "incident". So there is room for interpretation, but Stu and Stern chose to hide behind the "letter of the law" in one instance, and use discretion (aka common sense) in the other. That's what makes it garbage.

Posted by: walkdwalk | May 21, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Michael Lee,
I understand your preference, but come on. A real basketball fan will watch for the beauty of good basketball being displayed rather just rely on big-name stars or the more entertaining side of style of b-ball. You should know that everyone keeps criticizing the Spur sfor their "boringness', yet they play the game the way it is supposed to be played. Excuse them for not compromising their wins so that you can be entertained a little more. If that's what you need, then watch a comedy or something. Otherwise, coaches, fans and players of all levels should respect these teams for their unselfish and fundamentally sound basketball, the way coaches teach basketball (or are supposed to) all over america.

Posted by: dmacdc | May 21, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

How can we continuously discuss the suspensions without mentioning that this was not a conscious situation for Stoudamire and Diaw? No matter what rule was implemented, you are in a tough playoff series as an athlete and see your team leader get knocked out. No way your instinct does not overcome rational thought for at least a few seconds. As soon as Amare gained his wit he stopped and actually halted the rest of the bench. The rule actually worked in this case as the fight didn't escalate however the league failed to interpret it or leave room for interpretation. Lawyers ruined the series, not the players. Rediculous. A good teammate was punished.

Posted by: Raleigh | May 21, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

This article is perfect example of the hypocrsy of how most people view the NBA. People complain all the time about how college is better the the NBA because college is about team, and guys in the NBA are selfish. And yet, when the two best teams in the league make it to the Finals because of their unselfish, discplined play, those mreits become deficits. Its obvious people only spout the team play nonsense as a way to bash the stars they don't like (Kobe, Iverson, Lebron). It's sad. The NBA can't regardless of what they offer when you have a fan base that is so committed to hating them.

Posted by: Aaron (DC) | May 21, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The real issues is not the suspension from a hard and fast rule that isn't subject to interpretation.

The real question is what is the NBA going to do about an apparent tactic by the Spurs in hitting a superstar with flagrant fouls from different players? The Spurs/Suns series got out of hand and revealed what could possibly be a future tactic used by NBA teams with little repercussion.

Is this something that we should expect in the future? Should Utah have a "scrub" (in the immortal words of David Stern) player concuss Duncan in game 2, a different player break his nose in game 3, and yet a third different player blacken his eye in game 4? All without any systemic/team/coaching penalty?

That's a completely legit scenario considering what the Spurs just did to the Suns without any team punishment. The refs and league are at fault over lettting the series get to that point.

Posted by: Jon | May 21, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The NBA got the western confernce final it deserved. The first person to cry about how awful the ratings are I'M GONNA hipscheck into the scores table. : )

I'm done with the NBA till November when the Wiz take the floor again.

Posted by: dc | May 21, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Defense wins championships. Not 3 point, run and gun, no look, helter skelter play. The playoffs always produces the team with the best concept of defense, rebounding, and team. Phoenix needs to adjust to this philosophy, or continue to perish.

Posted by: DEE-TROIT | May 21, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

On balance, I think it's a good thing that Stoudemire and Diaw got suspended. The reason players almost never leave the bench during a fight now is that no exceptions to the rule are made. If Stern and Jackson started opening it to interpretation, players could start thinking "Well, I'll go out there and protect my boys, because I can argue my way out of a suspension..." I really think that could be the ultimate effect of a more lenient sentence in this case. Once you start down the slippery slope of interpretation, it's pretty hard to regain your footing.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 21, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"So kicks to the achilles, knees to the groin, and cross checks into scorers' tables are what you call 'savvy'? So with a rule that leaves no room for interpretation, there's room for interpretation when Tim Duncan violates the rule in the same game? Oh, ok. Only thing good about this is now I can go to work fully rested and refreshed with there being no need to stay up and watch the rest of this atrociousness.

Posted by: walkdwalk | May 21, 2007 10:48 AM "

Ok, so what did all the whining get them? Did anyone ever say the road to championship glory was going to be easy? What did MJ do when he got hammered by the Pistons and Knicks? Did MJ cry? MJ got bigger and made them pay, dearly.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 21, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Is this something that we should expect in the future? Should Utah have a "scrub" (in the immortal words of David Stern) player concuss Duncan in game 2, a different player break his nose in game 3, and yet a third different player blacken his eye in game 4? All without any systemic/team/coaching penalty?

Posted by: Jon | May 21, 2007 12:43 PM "

I'm sure you've heard of "hack a shaq." What happened at the end? Shaq did his thing and now he's got 4 rings on his finger.


BTW, the Suns were at full strength for Game 6, and still lost. What now?

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 21, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

This blog entry is indicative of the media drinking haterade. In what other sport are people crying about who wins not being pretty enough or fun to watch? These acts of people putting the snooze descriptions on winning teams like the Spurs and Detroit is indicative of not truly realizing what you're seeing. Real recognizes real. If you want to sleep on the NBA playoffs go ahead. We'll wake you when the rings have been won and you can bet it won't be in Dallas, Phoenix or Washington anytime soon.

The object is to win and not necessarily to be pretty or pleasing to the eye. You can hate on Duncan all you want but the fact is he's the best- period. The object is to win and all kinds of loser sportswriters villify certain teams that embody principles of unselfishness and solid teamwork. I'm sick of people from losing towns everywhere crying about who's NOT left. Try winning something or shut the hell up. Suns fans feel like they were cheated but the hard cold fact is the Spurs could have won in 6 no matter what.

Nobody really cares if you don't watch anyway because the global audience will more than make up for the lack of audience in the US. Maybe try fishing or something with all the other losers.

Posted by: Alex | May 21, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

If any person will claim that the officiating was not atrocious in each game played in San Antonio (regardless of which team it was against, although it did help the Spurs to an extent more than it helped the Suns), they must not have been watching the same series. Even the commentators recognized the travesty the game became

Posted by: AJ | May 21, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Sportswriters are complaining because they don't have an idiot athlete giving them great writing material to make their jobs easier. TV is complaining because they can't charge more for the commercials. For the average fan who appreciates sports for how it's played and not for the hype, this should be a good time for you. F' everything and everybody else.

PS. If the officiating is so atrocious, it's carried on from the regular season, and these crews are supposed to be the cream of the crop. My take is that there's been a lot of flopping and posturing by the players. You're more likely to get a call if you stop getting into the ref's ear everytime your hair is tussled. Finally, if the refs are so poor, let's see what Stern will do.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 21, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Well said Aaron from (DC) and dc. I happen to think this is all drummed up by the "talking heads" and the media likes who have a need to write a story and/or be entertained, instead of writing about real and well-played basketball. Most would not have jobs if they really had to comment on a basketball play instead of all of the entertainment and junk aspects. Not to mention the hypocrisy of it all...weren't we just talking about the lack of fundamentally sound basketball players and the way we play the game last summer during the Olympic trials??? Of course, we revert back to the

Posted by: dmacdc | May 21, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey DCMan88, I never said the road to a championship would be easy, and honestly, I don't have a problem with the no lay up rule or the hard (and clean) playoff foul and really would expect nothing less (even from my own team).

The other point I agree with you on is the whining. I cringed when Amare opened his mouth after the game 2 win, thinking there was no need to add fuel to the fire and further motivate a talented Spurs team after you just beat em by 20. But d@mn if they didn't prove his 'dirty' claims to be on the money (Nash left that series looking like he'd been in an UFC fight). The tacit approval of the refs by the omission of calls is what caused it to escalate to the point it did at the end of game 4 (which is what the rules were supposed to stymie.) That ain't "savvy", it's thuggery.

I guess what I clamoring for is consistency in officiating (which is what we've all been clamoring for for years now and ain't fittin to change anytime soon, lol), but Stern will never put that up to public scrutiny. C'est la vie.

To Alex, perhaps the Spurs could have won the series in six with all things being equal (though I think it would have gone 7). But the NBA front office took that opportunity away with its arguably uneven-handed 'justice'.

Posted by: walkdwalk | May 21, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the above posters who take some in the NBA media to task for criticizing these match-ups, especially the Spurs-Jazz series. It certainly is o.k. for basketball commentators to note that the general public will not be drawn to the remaining series. That's true. It's another for a NBA beat writer to say that he is bored by the Spurs and Jazz brand of basketball. I guess you don't need to like and appreciate basketball to be an NBA beat writer, but it's surprising nonetheless. Lee points out above that hardcore basketball fans will enjoy the Spurs-Jazz series, but then quickly indicates that he's not one of them.
As for me, I love watching the Spurs and Jazz play. There's no drama, true, but it's a joy watching team basketball. I love watching Tim Duncan play. Perhaps he does not clown around after dunks like Chris Webber -- would that make it more exciting for you, Michael? -- but I always considered that a good thing.
Perhaps the Post can put Lee on the And 1 tour beat. More exciting for you.

Posted by: Sean | May 21, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"Nash left that series looking like he'd been in an UFC fight.."

I agree with your assessment, but given that, you have to look at the game that Nash plays. He's like a pest, always driving next to defenders, drawing contact, doing the pick and rolls, bodying up, etc. He's pretty much inviting contact and asking for a beating.

He's not going to blow by someone for a dunk, so his game will result in him getting a lot of abuse when he tries that stuff. Given all that, the champs, or those with champion pedigree, and a rep for wholesome good players that are fundamentally sound will always get the benefit of the doubt....not the team known for a bunch of pretty high flying pansies.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 21, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Situation could be worse for Michael Lee besides having to cover the Jazz/Spurs series. He could be Marc Craig covering the Mystics beat.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2007/05/18/DI2007051800587.html

Not everyone's a Stacey Dales Schuman, Swin Cash, or Candance Parker.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 21, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

If some of the Suns players hadn't allowed the Spurs to get in their heads they would have seen the Horry/Nash foul for what it was, a hard playoff foul.
Compared to some of the shots that the Cleveland guys dished out on New Jersey Horry was being polite. The basketball media guys have really got to have some of the same consistancy that they are crying for the league to have.
On one hand we've had guys praising good hard tough playoff basketball in the form of Riley's "force basketball" the Detroit "Bad Boys" Shaq beating Motombo to a pulp. But this year the Suns let a tough veteran playoff team with one of Riley's boys(Bowen) and Shaq's old teammates(Horry)get in their collective heads and everyone wants to cry foul.
Seven game series are tough to officiate, stuff goes on that builds up from game to game and the intensity builds as the series go on. The Suns from their owner(carping about bruises on Nash's legs) to their coach (spending more time screaming at officals than coaching) to their players(other than Nash)they let the Spurs get in their head.
THe Suns need to do what teams that want to climb the playoff ladder have done for years. Go home, lick your wounds, get mad, and get back to work to come back tougher and stronger next year. All of these guys that want to be the next Jordan need to remember that's what he had to do to get past the Celtics and the Pistons.

Posted by: GM | May 21, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or are there others who will watch the Draft Lottery and hope:

2. That the first two picks go to Western Conf. teams, and
1. That Boston won't get either of the first two picks. (The way Boston fans have whined ever since they didn't get Tim Duncan, as if intentionally tanking entitled them to get the first pick, is so lame.)

Posted by: Sean | May 21, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Go down the list and figure out the largest market that's hurting the most. Then, that team will surely get the #1 pick or maybe move higher than what they were supposed to. Sounds like Boston or Sixers.

Therefore, Suns may get a lottery pick because Atlanta does not support its team and may not get a top 4 pick (they are slated at #4 now, and would lose the pick if it drops lower).

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 21, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

See how much trouble the Jazz are having with Collins trying to guard Duncan (and we thougth Etan and Brendan were bad), would they entertain a trade for Haywood? Maybe get them to give up Millsap? Any legit player for Haywood would be a great deal in my view.

This would kill two birds with one stone - we get rid of the whiner, AND send him to fun and exciting Salt Lake City to reward him for his wonderful attitude while with the Wizards.

Posted by: Wei_c25 | May 21, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

The Suns were cheated by the NBA. Look at how close the score was when Diaw and Stoudemire were suspended -- you know the Suns would have won that game. And then the series could have gone either way.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't see the hypocrisy of this article at all. In fact the last time I checked the Suns played a lot of team ball as well and they were praised to the heavens. Or are some of you going to tell us because the Suns play up-tempo then they don't play team ball.
The real reason most folks don't want to watch this Spurs is that they prefer to grind the game down into a 78-74 affair and for all their team basketball, the Spurs seem to feature a lot of "get the ball to Tim Duncan on an iso and let him bank one in off the window," and if you think that is fun to watch then good for you.
Greg Popovich is a master practictioner at winning with ice-pick in the eye basketball and while he may deserve respect for it, that doesn't mean Michael Lee or I or most of the basketball-watching public has to like it.

Posted by: George Templeton | May 22, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Anybody knows why D Stern didn't go to Phoenix game5?. Because he didn't wont to face reality. The reality is that he made huge error in concept of the game. And as the result there is big question mark of the series flow. Suns were running the series the they planned. And I assure anybody they'd win this series if no rediculas interraption. Meanwhile R Horry is really hero. He basically made this series for his theam.

Posted by: gabe370 | May 22, 2007 4:20 AM | Report abuse

The draft: The NBA.com draft lottery preview page has many of the featured teams hoping to upgrade at center, including Memphis, Atlanta, Minnesota, Charlotte, Chicago, Sacramento. It is very probable that a lot of the teams who did not respond to the draft story are also hoping to upgrade at 5. With Washington nowhere in the top 15, what do you think the Wiz chances are at landing a top center prospect, or being able to trade up for either of our centers?

Posted by: rickgonz | May 22, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Mike Lee, I'm with you. The rest can say whatever they want.

If the darn "games" weren't supposed to be entertaining - then they wouldn't call it
"SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT" Its the sister to "Big Business" and the rest of you are snoozing if you think it isn't.

The "whining" is all part of the script that "comes with the game and is a regular practice. The player's "challenge" is to get what they want without raising the ref's ire. Flopping, hack a shaqing, bows are all "paint techniques" that have been fine honed to a tee by the players. Approved by the "players assoc." Over time, ref's are learning to distinguish
"real from memorex - at least most teams pray so. Even Eddie flew off his handle because of officiating as do many coaches.
But I don't recall Pop questining very much and thus - the refs didn't manage to see a player getting a knee to the "ouch" groin etc. But I digress.

I'd bet anything Stern was celebrating when Nellie's bunch of scrubs shut Mark Cuban's mouth. ESPN had the camera focused on Cuban for the entire final portion of every game. "Big Business and Entertainment" is the reason. Stern has been sick of Cuban's mouth for a long, long, Long, time. Prob bought Nellie a beer.

For me the Suns losing if it said anything - it would be that a solid big man and a bit more D may have "run" them right over the top. But alas another year ended at the second round which should send signals to Nellie and the Suns owner. They will need some real tweeking to move to level 3. Nash may not be around next year - he was already frustrated as it was last year and is growing more so and openly expresses his frustrations.

If it were doable - it would not surprise me if Cuban asked Nash back if he thought it would get him over the top. But maybe I'm dreamin.

Posted by: Robin | May 22, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Ivan:
Will the results of tonight's Lottery impact what happens with Haywood? In other words, if Oden lands in the East, does Grunfeld lean more towards keeping Haywood to match up with Oden? If Oden lands with a team in the West, in Grunfeld more willing to trade him? If Oden lands with a team that is not horrible (Chicago, New Orleans, Indiana, maybe Minnesota), does that cause some teams that compete with Oden's new team to want to trade for a center like Haywood? Etc., etc.

Posted by: Joe | May 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Uh Joe, its Michael - not Ivan.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Uh Joe, its Michael - not Ivan.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Uh, nameless, I was directing the question to Ivan, since he covers the Wizards beat. Thanks for your concern, though.

Posted by: Joe | May 22, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I have quit watching the NBA.
I will not support a game where wrong acts
are rewarded ( Horry on Nash collision )
I am boycotting the NBA for the rest of the
year. I cannot stand Basket-brawl.
The Sun's were ripped this year and every
body (Including all the Spurs fans) know it!The Suns had great motivation going into
game five. Hey, lets take Duncan and Bowen
out and see how the Spur's do against our
starting five. Anyway this is a waste of
time......Maybe I'll watch next year during
the Sun's playoff run. But until then.
I hope the NBA pays the price with its worst TV ratings ever!

Posted by: Tim | May 22, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if the suns were cheated. Get a life and get over it....idiot.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Sir, Michael Lee, is the one writing the articles at THIS time. Not 1 article but 2 or 3. How can you even assume Ivan had anything to do with it? Thanks for reading the salutation though

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I just think the league deserves any bad talk it gets. We shouldn't even be talking about how david stern and Stu Jackson(we shouldn't even know who they are) run the whole league. We want to watch basketball and we don't want anyone who isn't even playing affecting the outcome of a game/series. In my mind they are just as bad as that ref who threw Duncan out of the game for laughing. There should be punishments for fights and obvious dangerous acts, but this crap about punishing someone for something as light as this is ridiculous. They may as well have beat Horry senseless since they got punished anyway, even though they caught themselves(which I guess isn't relavent?).

The league needs to get rid of some of their stupid policies, this isn't rec league ball. And yes the spurs did beat the suns fair in game 6....at their home court! If the suns had their full stregnth in game 5, IMO they could have made up the 4 points or so difference. The suns style does work, they beat dallas twice and san antonio 3 times this year, they just had some sucky luck in the playoffs.

Posted by: nashfan | May 22, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I just think the league deserves any bad talk it gets. We shouldn't even be talking about how david stern and Stu Jackson(we shouldn't even know who they are) run the whole league. We want to watch basketball and we don't want anyone who isn't even playing affecting the outcome of a game/series. In my mind they are just as bad as that ref who threw Duncan out of the game for laughing. There should be punishments for fights and obvious dangerous acts, but this crap about punishing someone for something as light as this is ridiculous. They may as well have beat Horry senseless since they got punished anyway, even though they caught themselves(which I guess isn't relavent?).

The league needs to get rid of some of their stupid policies, this isn't rec league ball. And yes the spurs did beat the suns fair in game 6....at their home court! If the suns had their full stregnth in game 5, IMO they could have made up the 4 points or so difference. The suns style does work, they beat dallas twice and san antonio 3 times this year, they just had some sucky luck in the playoffs.

Posted by: nashfan | May 22, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

We are now relegated to watching the mis-matched Western Final. Tim Duncan gets the pass...shoots a bankshot! Snooze...snooze. Listen to people like Magic who mourn the loss of fast-paced exciting games. The Suns regular season performance was something to behold...Thundering Amare dunks, Barbosa moving at the speed of sound, and Nash dishing out unbelievable assists. Virtually every game a high-light reel. The Suns got shafted by cheap-shot Rob, David Stern, and an arcane NBA rule. The bad guys win the shoot-out and the good guys ride off into the sunset. The league punished the fan and now we are treated to the Spurs trying to stay awake playing the Jazz with the worst yet to come --- Detroit vs. San Antonio. And the Suns post season bad luck continues as Atlanta defies the odds and gets the third pick. Oh God save us from this Basketball, hell!

Posted by: ohnospurs | May 23, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

The SUNS played 5 of 6 games at full strength. They won 2 of those 5 full strength games...please tell me how you figure the SUNS were robbed of the series. The SPURS played 4 of 6 games at full strength. They WON the 2 games that they were missing Horry. I only wished there had been no suspensions so I would not have to listen to all this whining.

Posted by: T. Diddy | May 23, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The 2 best teams are gone. The finals will be like watching Phil vs. Haley in Am Idol. It'll be lacking in talent and interest. The Suns were robbed. The Mavs were whipped. Just the scrubs are left. Can't wait for the NFL to start now.

Posted by: Simon | May 23, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Imagine the Spurs outrage if Pat Burke had body checked Tim Duncan inyo the scorers table and Parker and Ginobli had left the bench? Was Horry's hit on Nash a coaching move? It happened right after a time-out and the game was out of reach. If it was and Horry was making an "investment" for game 5 it worked beautifully. Cheap-shot Rob was only averaging 6 pts. a game in the series, but his hit effectively eliminated Amare, Phoenix's top scorer for game 5. A stupid act of frustration or a calculated move to win game 5, what do you think?

Posted by: ohnospurs | May 24, 2007 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Are you actually suggesting that Horry did it knowing that Stoudemire and Diaw would rush the court and get suspended? Because that's beyond unlikely. Horry lost his cool, Nash milked it for all it was worth, and Diaw and Stoudemire lost their composure.

Another provocative question: If Nash hadn't put the extra flourish on the contact it by throwing himself onto his back on the floor and swinging his arms out (making it look worse than it was), would Stoudemire and Diaw have jumped off the bench?

Posted by: kalorama | May 25, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

i think that horry did throw him knowing that players would rush up to his defence! especially staudemire! and haven't you listened to stephen A smith?? there is a natural reaction to see if your player is okay!

and the David stern is an idiot for not suspending Duncan!! i think the reason we complain is because we have a great case! Even after game 1 in the series the league apologized to the owner for the officiating. The gamess fixed and i don't even understand why Dirkchokesondick won mvp!? he chokes in the play-offs and he had less numbers in the regular season.?

Wadufxup?

Posted by: leaguesfixedd | June 14, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

i think that horry did throw him knowing that players would rush up to his defence! especially staudemire! and haven't you listened to stephen A smith?? there is a natural reaction to see if your player is okay!

and the David stern is an idiot for not suspending Duncan!! i think the reason we complain is because we have a great case! Even after game 1 in the series the league apologized to the owner for the officiating. The gamess fixed and i don't even understand why Dirkchokesondick won mvp!? he chokes in the play-offs and he had less numbers in the regular season.?

Wadufxup?

Posted by: leaguesfixedd | June 14, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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