Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:03 am

Miami Heat grab a pair of off-court wins: Taj Gibson is awarded a flagrant foul, and no fine for sitting stars

The NBA has put its foot down, and the league is taking no mess. The Miami Heat sat both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with relatively minor injuries on Sunday night, denying a national TV audience the chance to see a potential NBA Finals preview against the San Antonio Spurs. The league, which in November levied a $250,000 fine against the Spurs for sitting starters against the Heat, were clearly incensed at Miami’s transparent play to get their stars some rest, and responded on Monday forcefully with a … short comment indicating that they have no issue with what took place on Sunday.

All because Miami played by the technical rules, and the Spurs made no bones about why three of their stars were sitting in the team’s close loss to Miami last autumn. We’re not killing the NBA for its decision, here, because it’s perfectly understandable from all sides why the Spurs wanted rest for their vets in November, the Heat wanted a break for their stars in late March, and the NBA prefers that when you sit players in a long 82-game season designed to make fans of all 30 teams happy, you do it under the nebulous injury guidelines rather than brazenly admitting that it was just a night off. From Ira Winderman at the Sun-Sentinel:

By contrast, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made a point pregame Sunday to mention that LeBron James was being held out with a hamstring issue, and that guards Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers were being held out with sprained ankles. Chalmers had missed the previous game, as well, due to the sprain.

Sunday's absence was the third in the past five games for Wade, but it was the first absence of the season for James.

“We have no plans to discipline," NBA Senior Vice President of Basketball Communications Tim Frank told the Sun Sentinel.


Unlike the Spurs sending their players home from Orlando the morning of their game in Miami, the Heat had James, Wade and Chalmers at Sunday's game, the three traveling back to South Florida with the team overnight.

It’s true that the only chink in James’ particular armor thus far in his NBA career has been his issues with hamstring pulls and cramping, so it isn’t as if the Heat are making up anything new – even if he was two days removed from tossing in 26 first half points in a win over New Orleans. James and Wade could have played, though, and it bears repeating that the only reason the Miami Heat weren’t hit with a substantial fine is that coach Erik Spoelstra chose his words carefully as he discussed their absence, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, silly him, decided to tell the truth.

It’s not the most troublesome problem facing the NBA, but it certainly does leave most with an uneasy feeling. Many critics are attempting to have it both ways, though, chiding the league for an 82-game schedule that allows for each team to play in every city, sometimes twice, while criticizing teams for protecting the players worn out by that 82-game schedule on behalf of the fans that are in attendance for a Miami/San Antonio game that is only taking place in San Antonio because of the 82-game schedule that allows for the stars to be paraded around.

Whew. Anyone else getting dizzy?

This isn’t even getting into the bookends of the regular season. In order to grow its international brand, the NBA is now sending the majority of clubs in its league overseas to play a series of exhibition games out of North America. This is all shoe-horned inside a month-long training camp and exhibition season, which leads up to a postseason that could last for two months. The newish postseason is elongated so that the lower seeded playoff participants can take in at least two home games on their way to a sweep or gentleman’s sweep in the first round, and if the Heat take the expected route on the way to a second consecutive championship (a sweep, then perhaps three six-game series’ to follow), the team would be on the hook for 111 exhibition, regular season, and postseason games in 2012-13.

All while coming on the heels of James, Wade, and Bosh being asked to play for Team USA last summer, because you don’t want to be thought of as anti-American … do you, guys?

In a move designed to protect LeBron, Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson was informed on Monday that a foul from last Wednesday’s Bulls win over Miami was upgraded to flagrant status. Weirdly, though, it wasn’t that foul that Gibson was cited for. Gibson was criticized by James for a fourth quarter hack that was not whistled a flagrant, something that led to James tossing a retaliatory shove and elbow at Carlos Boozer soon after – a premeditated move that was whistled as a flagrant, much to James’ chagrin.

No, this was a first quarter rough up that the league deemed a bit much. ESPN’s Nick Friedell caught up with Taj to get his take on a game that feels like it was played ages ago:

"I don't even remember what happened," Gibson said. "I just tried to make a play, and I guess it was a foul. But hey, it's going to happen. I don't remember it, but the NBA is doing their job and trying to correct things. I can't be mad at that. I'm going to have to keep pushing and moving on and get ready for the next time we play them, I guess."

"I just think it was one of those games that was highly televised," Gibson said. "And whenever a game like that is highly televised and there's a lot of banging and a lot of physical play, [the league is] going to look at it, and sometimes you've got to respect the league.

[…]

Gibson said he and his teammates played the Heat the same way they always do.

"We didn't do anything different," he said. "We just played them the way we normally played them. Every time we play them, it's like a playoff game -- we don't shy away from anything. Every time we play them, they adjust, we adjust. It's all about who wants it more. It's both teams just really clashing. At the end of the day, I don't have any hard feelings against [James], it's just basketball. It's just basketball, nothing personal. Nothing like, 'I hate him,' it's just basketball."

As I wrote, well, ages ago, I don’t think any of the fouls in question were worthy of flagrant consideration. Kirk Hinrich’s wrap-up job of James was textbook defense, the play that Gibson was given a flagrant for can be seen here:

(CLick link to see video clip)


http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/miami-heat-grab-pair-off-court-wins-taj-144017181--nba.html
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby Weezy on Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:42 pm

I don't care that the Heat weren't fined, but the Spurs shouldn't have been either, coaches can do what they want or think is best for their team. That the Taj Gibson foul was upgraded to a flagrant is a joke though, that was a clean play he was going for the ball the entire time.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:00 pm

I found it funny that the Spurs got hit with a sever fine but the Heat got nothing. The league overreacted to the SPurs (although I do agree with a fine of some sort) and then underreacted to the heat. As people have said, the fans are the reason these guys make their chedder and for some that game with the superstars may be their only chance to see them ever. I don't agree with sitting healthy players for an entire game. Bring them out for a quarter or a half and sit them the second half I can get. I have never seen Lebron play live and if I bought a ticket to LA/MIA game and he sat and it wasn't an injury I would be pissed. The issue is the league is inconsistant with their punishments and rules.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby Vasashi17 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:37 pm

Puff, I hate when big brother gets in the way and the league has shown their hypocrisy in many ways before....but in this case Miami has pretty much clinched a playoff berth and the 1st seed. Granted, they're still playing for HCA throughout the postseason, but they are afforded to rest their stars without question since they really have nothing more to play for.

I still don't think the league had merit to fine the Spurs, but I do understand their ire, seeing how the Spurs had plenty to play for with alot of games still on the schedule, yet rested all their stars.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:56 pm

Vash-

Its a tricky or even slippery slope they play on at the end of the season. Like many have said, getting rest for guys can be crucial, especially of older teams like SAS, for the playoffs. However, the issue for me is "when" is it OK to stop presenting your best product for the fans? Why fine a team for resting starters when they have playoff spots locked up? It was the league that came out a few years ago saying that they expected teams to play to win. This was in reference to Dallas trying to ensure they got GS in the playoffs if memory serves me correctly. On the flip side the Suns should be celebrated on basically tanking against teams that are battling the Lakers for that 8th playoff spot considering the Lakers pick is unprotected. The problem is that the product itself is tainted to the fans. How many teams fans only wish is that they could beat the hated Lakers with Kobe Bryant? I get the biz side of the argument. Heck, I understand how Pop has always managed his players over the past few years. That is a choice he and the team have to make but resting healthy star players and expecting the fans to pay full price is wrong in my opinon. It is a very slippery slope.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby Vasashi17 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:23 pm

You bring up great points and as you said, its really a slippery slope.There are really good points to both sides of the fence...but I just don't like when the NBA comes in to make the call. Its almost the equivalent of refs....its good to know that they're there when you need them, but usually the best games occur when you don't even know they're there.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:39 pm

I agree. I actually think the NBA should handle it the way fans like their officiating, "just be the same on both sides." There is absolutely no consistency with the league office and their rulings. Damn shame.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby Forward Three on Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:17 pm

It's gonna be one of those Playoffs...
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby Finwë on Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:09 am

^ hopefully you're wrong
"The first time I ever saw my uniform hanging in the locker I put it on right away, and it just felt like I was putting on golden armour. From that day forward, I just called it 'the golden armour', it just felt like there was something mystical and magical about it" - Kobe Bryant.
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby dj vitus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:37 am

This look familiar to Heat fans:

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"Why are they blocking out all the good stuff? They let Sarah Jessica Parker's face on TV and she looks like a foot!!"
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Re: Heat Sit players= no fine. Taj foul Lebron= Upgrade F1

Postby JSM on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:38 pm

Ric Bucher

I have no problem with the NBA turning a blind eye to the Heat for resting its stars against the Spurs; the problem
I have is if the league doesn't rescind the Spurs' $250,000 fine meted for resting their stars at the end of November. It was a knee-jerk reaction at the time and a silly one; the league has absolutely no business telling its teams who they have to play and when. I understand how powerful the league's broadcast partners are and I appreciate that teams can't be granted perfect autonomy. That said, the inherent contradiction presented in not reprimanding the Heat is only one of many sure to crop up, if not this season than certainly in future ones. And as much as the business of sport is taking priority over the actual spirit of competition, the line has to be drawn some place. In this case, it was the wrong place. I know that the league frequently (and quietly) refunds player fines that are appealed; it would be wise not only to do the same with the Spurs but acknowledge that it overreached. There are enough
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