SIDELINE PATROL: NBA?playoffs are slug fests
The NBA?playoffs have gotten ugly but this time of the year, would you expect anything less.
Elbows are flying, punches are on the way, instigators are making their way into the grills of superstars and coaches are sending players to the locker room for arguing with them. What more could you ask for?
Kobe Bryant warranted a suspension from the league with an elbow to Ron Artest’s throat, (who was later ejected for getting in Bryant’s face) in the Lakers 111-98 victory over the Rockets in Game 2. Whether it comes, (Bryant didn’t even get whistled for a foul during the incident) is yet to be seen, but the playoffs are now in the second round and you can expect a lot more rough housing on the court.
In Game 2, Derek Fisher received a flagrant 2 foul for delivering a hockey-style check to Luis Scola during a screen. There have been many other incidents in this years’ playoffs already including the streaming bloody eye of the Rockets’ Shane Battier when Sasha Vujacic swatted a loose ball.
Orlando’s Dwight Howard was already suspended for elbowing Philadelphia’s Samuel Dalembert in the head in first round. However, Celtics’ Rajon Rondo was not suspended for throwing Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich into the scoring table or busting Brad Miller’s lip with a clothesline. We will wait to see if Howard’s teammate Rafer Alston will be suspended for a slap upside Rondo’s teammate Eddie House’s head in their Game 2 matchup Wednesday.
A few NBA brawls that came during the playoffs you may remember include: the Bulls’ JoJo English and the Knicks’ Derek Harper starting a bench-clearing fight that nearly ended in the lap of commissioner David Stern, Pistons’ Bill Laimbeer and 76ers’ Charles Barkley coming to blows and the Celtics’ Danny Ainge taking exception to Tree Rollins elbow and tackling him before being biten
Basketball is a physical game and at this level, we expect physical basketball. That is why we love it.
Like Kobe said after Game 2, “You have a challenge in front of you. If you want to be champions, you have to respond to it.”
Congratulations to Ascension Catholic for advancing to the Class 1A state championship game. Also, job well done to St. Amant for returning to the state tournament, East Ascension for their playoff run and fine seasons from Dutchtown and Donaldsonville.
I have always tried to not display any expression during an athletic contest that I am covering. As much as I try not be a fan and root for a team, I found myself clapping for the Lady Bulldogs in their final Saturday after covering them the past three seasons as editor of the Donaldsonville Chief.
It is exactly four years since I started covering local schools’ sports in the area and I?have yet to follow a ‘team’ to a state championship. This was the third time I covered a final and I am longing for a title.
I have covered individual state championships in track and field and wrestling and hope there are more to come this season. But a baseball state championship from either Dutchtown or Ascension Catholic would truly cap off a great first school year as the sports editor of the Gonzales Weekly Citizen.