Friday, May 19, 2006

Punch To The Nuts

Well, well, well…The plot, which I didn’t think could be more thick than it already was, has thickened. The series that I am pretty sure nobody in Texas will soon forget has just taken the wildest turn yet, right?

Jason Terry has been bounced for Game 6. Here is Channel 4’s video which might be the best

He made a mistake, and now he will pay. Do I think it was that big a deal? Of course, not. But let’s not forget a few things here:

The NBA has a very clear rule on punching


Violent acts of any nature on the court will not be tolerated. Players involved in altercations will be ejected, fined and/or suspended. Officials have been instructed to eject a player who throws a punch, whether or not it connects, or an elbow which makes contact above shoulder level. If elbow contact is shoulder level or below, it shall be left to the discretion of the official as to whether the player is ejected. Even if a punch or an elbow goes undetected by the officials during the game, but is detected during a review of a videotape, that player will be penalized. There is absolutely no justification for fighting in an NBA game. The fact that a player may feel provoked by another player is not an acceptable excuse. If a player takes it upon himself to retaliate, he can expect to be subject to appropriate penalties.

And. Jason Terry has a “repeat offender” track record

The NBA suspended Jason Terry (Atl) for 1 game for the elbow he threw at Anthony Johnson (Ind) during Saturday's Atl-Ind game.

The NBA fined Jason Terry (Atl) $10,000 and suspended him for 1 game and fined Don Reid (Orl) $7,500 and suspended him for 1 game for their fight during Monday's Atl-Orl game.

The NBA fined Kenny Thomas (Hou) $15,000 and suspended him for 3 games and fined Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Atl) $15,000 and suspended him for 3 games for their fight in Monday's Hou-Atl game. Jason Terry (Atl) was also fined $7,500 and suspended for 1 game for throwing a punch during the altercation.

Put that together, and he has to take the blame here. I don’t like it. I would like to think the NBA would exercise some judgment about severity of the punch and that they would consider what that could do to the outcome of the series, but the bottom line is that YOU CANNOT THROW A PUNCH. Cannot. Under any circumstance. They had the right to suspend him. And Terry is to blame for giving them that right by throwing a punch.

Terry’s taking the blame partially because he has no other choice …

Terry's close-fisted jab into the groin area of former teammate Michael Finley late in Game 5 may or may not have been a letter-of-the-law punch. The NBA said it was, and Terry will be a fan tonight as the riveting series continues.

There is no doubt Terry's action was the sort of mistake that can make a difference in the outcome of a tight series. And Terry was quick to admit his error. He said he felt responsible for not being able to help his teammates and coach Avery Johnson in one of the biggest games in Mavericks history.

"I do, just for putting myself in this position," Terry said on his radio show on ESPN-FM (103.3) Thursday. Johnson "is real disappointed about the whole situation. We talked about it before the game, that whatever happens, don't let yourself get in a position like that."

Heat-of-the-moment situations are something all NBA players must deal with. Terry's suspension is proof that a lapse of control – however momentary it may be – can lead to a serious situation.

Johnson tells his players they must maintain a cool head at all times during games. When they don't, Johnson wastes no time letting them know about it. Johnson did not return telephone calls Thursday seeking comment.

Most coaches demand that players keep their composure. Yet mistakes like this still happen.

Blackistone says Cuban has earned this treatment

The chicken came home to roost Thursday.

How else to explain the sudden unexpected suspension of starting guard Jason Terry for tonight's Game 6? The league announced late Thursday afternoon that it was benching Terry for punching Michael Finley during a scrum with seconds left in Game 5.

Finley was unusually agitated after the grappling. Terry wasn't assessed a foul on the play. No one seemed to see anything unseemly happen. A jump ball was called.
But the Spurs went Cuban on the Mavericks sometime after the game. They sent a tape to the league office that showed Terry landing a punch to Finley's groin.

It was an easy decision for league disciplinarian Stu Jackson, who earlier in this postseason tossed Miami's Udonis Haslem for a game for angrily throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of an official.

Cuban, not surprisingly, disagreed with Jackson's penalty. A fine was due, he said, but not a suspension.

Oh, well. Live by Netflix, die by Netflix.

Cuban isn't the only NBA team boss who sends the league office tape. He's just made his team one of the biggest exercisers of the practice.

David Moore on the scene

What Terry did has nothing to do with his basketball IQ. It has everything to do with losing his cool. He can only hope the Mavericks bail him out the way the Suns did Raja Bell in the first round.

Bell clotheslined Kobe Bryant and threw him to the floor during the team's first-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bell was suspended for Game 6. The Suns responded by winning that game and the next to win the series.

The difference here: The Spurs are a lot better than the Lakers.

The speed of point guard Devin Harris has tipped the scales in the Mavericks favor so far this series. But the Mavericks need Terry's presence to maximize that advantage.

San Antonio entered this series with its defensive sights set on Nowitzki and Terry. It was that focus on Terry that gave Harris the room to score 20 and 24 points in his first two games as a starter. When Harris forced the Spurs to adjust, Terry responded with 32 points in Game 4.

The Mavericks have three options: put Adrian Griffin back in the starting lineup, slip Marquis Daniels into the starting five or go with Jerry Stackhouse. None of those options are as attractive, or effective, as a backcourt of Terry and Harris.
Terry's absence doesn't mean the Mavericks will lose tonight's game. His team can still deliver a knockout punch to the defending world champions.

But they'd better aim higher than Terry did in Game 5 to get it done.

Buck Harvey in San Antonio

Going by the video, Terry threw the punch with a closed fist, too. And everyone in the league knows the rules. It's part of the code of conduct, and the guidelines are clear. Suspension follows.

Terry lost his senses, and he did a year ago in a simple basketball play in the Phoenix series. Then, he left Steve Nash open for a 3. This time, instead of going under a screen as he did then, Terry went under to hit Finley in a vital spot.
Terry, on his radio show Thursday night in Dallas, used words that would confuse a veteran politician. "That's totally unsportsmanlike," he said, "and something I wouldn't have done intentionally, if it did happen. For (Finley) to say I intentionally punched him in the groin or stomach, I don't think it happened that way."

Cuban believes this kind of dream-sequence explanation. "Jason didn't even know he did it," Cuban said.

I e-mailed Cuban with another question: No matter the details, isn't a punch with a closed fist always a suspension?

To his credit, Cuban got back to me in minutes. He asked me if I had seen the video, which I had, and he ended the e-mail with: "Throwing a punch is different than reacting with a closed fist when you are the bottom of a pileup. (Terry) couldn't rip a piece of paper from that situation with a fist."

The Mavericks have their work cut out for them. The Mavericks have to play without one of their best players. Deal with it. Circle the Wagons. Win one for Terry. Or don’t. Just win one.

For inspirational purposes, and with a small amount of poetic license, here is Braveheart:

Wallace: Sons of Scotland (Dallas), I am William Wallace (Dirk Nowitzki).

Young soldier: William Wallace (Dirk Nowitzki) is 7 feet tall.

Wallace: Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds, and if he were here he'd consume the English (Spurs) with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse. I am William Wallace (Dirk Nowitzki). And I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? Will you fight?

Veteran soldier: Fight? Against that? No, we will run; and we will live.

Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you'll live -- at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom (Series)!!!

Wallace and Soldiers: Alba gu bra! (Scotland (Mavericks) forever!)

I know there is plenty more to write about: The Champions League Final, The Rangers, Amazing Race, The Clippers, The NHL Final 4, and everything else. Sorry. I am too focused. Game 6 tonight.

Beat SA. And Feel Free to Boo them all.


Anonymous said...

Sportsturm, what gives you the right to blog about basketball? Did you ever play the game?

Chris said...

after the Mavs destroy the hated Spurs, can BaD radio PLEASE have Berry on the air Monday?

Cap It said...

^ of course, 1st name is Dingle.

blow me updog.

Phil said...

Bob - Why do you and Dan waste so much time with bits? I don't even understand why you would waste so much time on Brent Barry. I mean, you've only got 3 hours per day / 5 days per week / roughly 48-50 weeks per year to talk "real" sports. That's only 735 hours to work with. There's just absolutely no excuse for completely blowing 15 minutes of those 735+ hours on Brent Barry and his spareness.

On behalf of all BaD radio fans, I am ashamed and embarrassed at your lack of great, successful broadcasting ability.

Signed, Chris-Chris

Fake Sturm said...

That picture at the top of the blog says it all. How come Jet didnt get that timeout? Both hands on the ball looking at the ref with not one person even touching him.

And I agree with Cuban that this needs to be a case by case rule. Would it have been better if Jet had grabbed Finleys balls and squezed like that dude who did that to Kaman. No suspension there.

Regardless the Mavs have to pull together and win this thing tonight. We need our superstar to step up tonight the way Duncan has all series. And please, Damp and Diop, if you are gonna foul Duncan every time, dont let him get the effing shot AND the foul. One or the other and you have to consider that a successful defensive possession.
Man I am way too fired up for 9:45 AM. Lets get this thing on!

Anonymous said...

A hilarious photoshop for the Mavs fans. Sturm, this one is definitely blog-worthy.


Luis M said...

Anxious, energized, nervous, fired up, inpatient, angry, excited.
We must close out this series tonite or I am going to have a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

I think this is just another case of the NBA trying to fix this series. It first started with giving the old, beat up Spus THREE days to rest between game 2 and 3. A decision that wasn't made until 2 or 3AM after the Mavs just KICKED the Spurs up and down the court. Then the official 'doesn't see' Terry calling a timeout when NOBODY is blocking his view and Ginobli didn't even have both of his hands on the ball. Now they're going to suspend Terry for trying to get Finley, who by the way came in AFTER the whistle was blown, off of him. Every guy knows that Finley didn't get punched in the balls, because if he would have, there is NO WAY he would've gotten up that fast with that amount of energy. I just hope that it backfires on the NBA and that the Mavs beat the Spurs just like Sacramento beat the Spurs when Artest got suspended. And Cuban is right, this series will be remembered for the wrong reasons if the refs/NBA keep on playing their own little game.

re-pete said...

Yeah, gotta agree here:

JET was calling timeout, but didn't get it. Instead, Ginobili dives on top of him and gets a jump ball call instead of a foul. Finley dives into his head after the whistle.

"The refs got it right," if you're a Spares fan, meaning they allowed SA to muck it up with their usual s**t.

Nevertheless, JET was STUPID to react how he did.

Two words: Darrell Armstrong. Watch out.

Fake Sturm said...

Anon, Sac didnt win that game but we got your point.
Luis I feel your pain, this series couldnt be good on my heart or my liver. Its like the 03 series all over again.
I am not sure if DA can play, isnt he a little banged up. Regardless, he and Griffin cant knock down an open jumper if their life depended on it, which is the whole reason we are playing so good because they cant leave anybody open for a double or they get burned. Tonight we rely on Quisy and his 40 million dollar contract. Look for him to get involved early and find his confidence and expect good things to ensue.

Barca Fan said...

WHAT!? *STILL* no coverage on this blog of Barcelona winning the Champions League? Come on Bob, if it were the 'pool you'd be all over this like you were last year. PLEASE at least a nice mention and a photo of Dinho kissing the cup!

Luis M said...

i disagree, grif can hurt you on offensive if left open. he doesnt have alot of range, but he can keep defenses honest. plus he can drive and finish.

i love DA's defense and energy but it kills me to watch him with the ball in his hand.

Andy Douthitt said...

If there was a reason to boo, now is the time. While Finley was a huge part in putting the Mavs back on the map in the new millenium, conversely, he is now the reason that the scales have been unfairly tipped in the favor of SA for no reason now.

Because of his bitching, we have been given a unnecessary blow to our team by circumstances that BOTTOM LINE DIDN'T DESERVE A SUSPENSION, ONLY A FINE.


Anonymous said...

was Finley wearing a maxi-pad or a mini-pad?

Bob's Chineses Eyes

Anonymous said...


Thierry Henry has ended months of speculation about his future by signing a new four-year contract with Arsenal.

Bob's Chineses Eyes

Anonymous said...

Anon.... who gives a damn about your Thierry guy signing with Arsenal. This is a basketball blog not some sorry soccer one.....

Anonymous said...

thought the name of the blog was

Bob's Chinese Eyes

Anonymous said...

Would be a great bit to boo the entire time the Spurs have the ball as a team...not just Finley. Would feel almost like a college game atmosphere. Don't think it'll happen, but sure would be cool.

Anonymous said...

seems to be a lot of whining going on by the mavs fan today (just an unbiased observation)

Fake Sturm said...

Nobody gives a crap about your unbiased opinion. Why dont you get a username and then try to add something of value.

A great quote from Avery in this mornings shootaround:

“I guess if he’d grabbed him (in the crotch), that would be OK,’’ Johnson said. “The rules are the rules. Next time, grab.’’

TX_Gooner said...

Barca Fan,
Bob explained why he didn't mention the CL Final... and I for one don't need to see Ronaldhino's goofy look as he tries to stretch his lips over his teeth from the gaping special needs kid smile of his in a futile effort to kiss a cup that HE DID NOTHING TO EARN. Henrik Larssen was the man of the match... "Dinho" was invisible as was Deco. And the Gunners were the better team when it was 11 v 11.

Am I bitter? Yes.

And to anonymous (if that is indeed your name) this will only be a basketball blog for 4 more days, I reckon, now that Terry is out and game 7 is a lock. The World Cup is due in less than a month, so you can disappear for a while as this blog is taken over by lovers of the beautiful game.

And it is a GLORIOUS day because Thierry Henry will end his career at Arsenal! All Premiership fans should rejoice a bit that they will see him every week, even if you hate the Gunners, it is good for English football.

Jay Clendenin said...

let's get hyped for the silver boot series!!! or not.

Anonymous said...

hey fake sturm, why don't you get a life!

Wes Mantooth said...

Crazy ass soccer fan brought up a good point. This blog will be World Cup Blog in about a month. We had better enjoy Mavs Blog while we can.

F the Silver Boot


MrSimic said...

Boys boys boys...this is shaping up to be a wonderful night. I've been working on an important document (brief on the merits to the TxSC) for a couple of weeks. I didn't get a weekend last week, and I thought I wasn't going to get one this week either. I've missed much of the series and have been going nuts with lack of sleep and lack of sports.

Two things changed: Yesterday, I got wired in the house (crappy Charter cable, not DirectTV like the last place, but I'll make do), and today the Supreme Court mercifully granted my motion to extend time to file the brief. I now have until June 8. Sweet fancy Moses.

That means I get to basketball it up tonight (I almost went nuts and bought some scalped tix, but I tapped the brakes on that deal), have one or eleven frosties, and sleep the f in tomorrow.

I have no predictions, but damn it would be sweet BP if the little Mavs could close it out tonight. I would like our chances in game 7, but I doubt many of us metroplexers want to see it get to that.

One reminder: who was it that got the tip in to win the game and the Utah series a few years ago? Mr. Calvin Booth(e?). Take heart then, MFFL: there's more than one way to spell ROLAIDS.



mr. t said...

Before today I could only say that I enjoyed watching the victory of my team more than watching the opposition lose, with the exception of the Philly Eagles. I've always enjoyed watching a deafeated Eagle mourn in sorrow more than I celebrated the Cowboys victory.
I now can put #2 on this list.

Ich werde für Freude springen, während die rührenden Spurs Anhänger die Verwüstung von diesem Verlust trauern.