« on: June 19, 2007, 01:29 AM »
I'm really tired of people griping about the Spurs/Suns series being fixed. Yes, it is a stupid rule - I agree with that. But it has been in place for many many years, and if it is in place, it has to be upheld. If Stern/Stu Jackson had handed out no suspensions, bending the rule in that way would allow for people in future situations to argue the same case, and would always point back to this one saying "See, you let them go, why not me?"
Several other things to consider - part of being a championship team is is having poise and control in situations like that. Stoudemire and Diaw knew the rule, and they chose to follow only emotions, so it is their own fault they got suspended, even though it is a retarded rule. There were almost a dozen other players on the Suns bench who chose to not step on the court, even though I'm sure they were jolted by the hard foul and were concerned for their teammate as well. Another thing is to remember that the Spurs beat the Suns three times WITH Stoudemire and Diaw; it's not like they could only muster wins when those two guys weren't playing. And they still had a chance to correct it - Stoudemire was back for Game 6, the Suns could have won and sent the series back to Phoenix for a home court Game 7 with all their players available, guess what, they couldn't do it. The Suns are a great team but the Spurs are better and much more rounded, they always beat them and I am pretty sure that is not going to change for at least a few more years. In 2005 Stoudemire torched the Spurs for 37 a game and SA won the series 4-1. Trend? Playing no defense makes it tough to win a 7 game series against a disciplined, defensive and versatile team like San Antonio. The Suns couldn't even make it past the Mavs last year, despite Dallas not even being as good defensively as the Spurs.
I also find it hilarious that people claim Stern fixed the series to pave the Spurs road to the Finals, when he and everyone else know that the Suns would draw much higher ratings in the Finals. If any series were being fixed, it would be to draw the team that brings in more cash. Cavs vs Suns would have brought much, much higher ratings.
The bottom line is Stoudemire and Diaw chose to step well onto the court; they could have chose not to and nothing would have even gone into Stu Jackson's hands. However, the rule does definitely need to be revised.