Time for Stu to leap in to action -- and here's the update
This is going to be a big day for Stu Jackson.
The NBA’s vice-president of discipline could very well determine the winner of the Eastern Conference final when he clicks on the DVD player (which is apparently an upgrade on a VCR) to review last night’s Boston-Orlando game.
Specifically, he’s going to have to look at the two technicals Boston’s Kendrick Perkins got and figure out whether one needs to be rescinded to allow Perkins to play in Game 6.
The two techs Perkins got – one for elbowing My Favourite Marcin, one for whining – were his sixth and seventh of the post-season and carry an automatic suspension.
Now, the second one might have been a bit dubious but there’s no way Jackson can pull it back, I don’t think.
Not only would it undermine the game officials who made the call (I know that happens every now and then but I think it’s pretty much wrong all the time) but it would smack of the league office exerting too much influence.
(Conspiracy theorists take that for what it’s worth)
This just in:
I know nothing.
Well, I do know this because the NBA just me an e-mail to tell me:
They have rescinded the second technical foul on Perkins so he's able to play in Game 6; and they've upgraded a fourth quarter personal on Pierce to a Flagrant 1.
We now return you to you regularly-scheduled reading.
Of course, there’d be no issue if Perkins was able to control his temper but that’s not going to happen and, as I’ve mention, his anger-control problems have long been an issue. I don’t specifically remember a lot of his earlier techs but I’d venture to say a couple of them were for little more than excessive whining over correct calls.
And now he’s really going to hurt his team.
How much, you ask?
Well, I’m not about to say the Magic are in control of this series, that’d be silly, but if Perkins doesn’t play and Glen Davis is still banged up from a concussion, I’d say Orlando has a better than average chance to get the series to a seventh game at home.
The one thing the Celtics have been able to do is guard Dwight Howard with one guy, allowing the wings to stay home on Orlando’s shooters. Without Perkins or Davis, they cannot do that or Howard will go off for 40 or something like that and if they have to double all the time, even a guy like the guy who used to play here is going to knock down wide open looks.
One of the things about the Celtics was that they seem to play right on the edge of losing control. Perkins, Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Davis, all seem to be on the verge of exploding at any minute. It’s nice to play with some aggression; it’s not nice to play without thinking and that’s what Perkins did last night. The first one he got was a double technical for a brouhaha with Gortat and as soon as he got it, he had to know to be on his best behaviour. He had to know he was one more tech for a) getting thrown out of the game and b) getting suspended for the next game and that he couldn’t control his temper is a huge character flaw.
And one that could prove hugely costly to his team.
You know, Kids Say The Darndest Things.
(You got that, right?)
Back to Stu for a minute, we all know he’s not above making tough calls that turn series.
Back in ’07, it was his decision to follow the letter of the law and suspend Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for a pivotal game against the Spurs (it’s mentioned in here) that could have shifted the momentum in that series.
And way, way back in ’01, he hit Milwaukee’s Scott Williams well after the fact with a one-game suspension for a hit Williams laid on Allen Iverson that took the Bucks big man out of Game 7 of that Eastern Conference final. I remember being at that game in Philly and there were a couple of plays down the stretch of a close game where the Bucks could have used a rebounder of Williams’ ability.
So there is some history that shows Stu will do what’s right rather than what’s easy.
Yes, we will be here tonight at 9 for the Suns-Lakers and I hope it’s a doozy. Stop by, it’s a lot of fun. Really.
You know who’s a good role player?
Jason Williams of the Magic.
Seems to me he’s exactly the kind of backup point guard a team needs, someone who isn’t going to worry about playing excess minutes, someone who can make a shot and defend a little bit and someone who goes about his business in a calm, professional manner.
He’s come a long, long way from those White Chocolate days of yore but he’s really settled into quite a niche with the Magic.
Mail? Gladly accepted if you click here to send it along. We’ll get this one taken care of right now:
Q: Quick question for you, watching the veteran ref's work the playoff games (I find them to be very good) I was wondering why Steve Javie who in my mind is an excellent ref is not working the games.
Kevin V, Waterloo
A: He is an excellent referee, probably in the top three or four in the league, and he should be working. But he’s injured and unavailable. Too bad, though.
Any bets on how many times Steve Nash gets knocked down and bopped on the nose tonight?
I’ll put the over and under at 1.5.