We're a little less than 24 hours away from Game 6's tip off and the biggest issue for the Warriors has yet to be resolved. It appears that the league will not pursue any further punishment for Jason Richardson after his hard foul on Mehmet Okur in the closing seconds of Sunday's loss, but the league has yet to release an official statement about whether Baron Davis will be punished for his elbow to Derek Fisher (see Richardson cleared; Davis under review from SFGate and Caught Backcourt's diary JRich/Baron Update).
From the camera angles I caught it looked like:
- Baron made a dumb move in frustration and Derek Fisher should win an Oscar for that performance.
- Jason made a play on the ball and gave Mehmet Okur a good, hard playoff foul. Nothing wrong with that.
I could be entirely wrong, but that's what I could tell from the replays I saw online and my view in the stands.
But it really doesn't matter what I think. What matters most is what the players think.
From the AP Recap of Game 4:
From the AP Preview for Game 5:
At Monday's practice, Fisher had no visible marks or hard feelings against Davis, his former teammate in Golden State.
Davis said it was unintentional and apologized to Fisher, who was well enough to finish the game.
"I told him to stop flopping, and he laughed. He said he knows I didn't do it on purpose," Davis said before the Warriors flew to Utah on Monday. "Me and Derek Fisher, we're great friends. He's a great mentor to me, and in the moment of the game, the heat of the game, there's going to be some contact, some unnecessary contact."
Let's hope the league isn't inconsistent (funny how Bruce Bowen's constant dirty play and Jason Terry's potentially brawl-inciting pile drive of Baron in front of the Warriors' bench weren't punished) and suspend Baron for tomorrow's big game.
I have to say that I find it incredibly peculiar that the refs have been letting a lot of roughhousing go on in this year's playoffs. Wasn't the league trying to get away from the boxing matches of the 90's? Both the Jazz and Spurs are very physical and rough which greatly contrasts to the more finesse and highly watchable style of the Warriors and Suns. When you let teams like the Jazz and Spurs get away with a lot of pushing and shoving night in and night out in the playoffs there's going to be silly end of the game situations like this. Still, BD and JR need to be smarter and not give the league any reason to stop them from playing in the playoffs.
Big time Warrior hater Brett Edwards and his blogging partner Craig Kwasniewski have of course taken this opportunity to jump to ridiculously ignorant conclusions about the character of this Warriors squad in their post The Warriors Act Like Punks When They Lose. Maybe it's just bitterness resulting from the Mavs' choke job in the first round, but it cracks me up that they're so quick to vilify these fellas as devils. The racist undertones in their analysis are especially disturbing:
I find it very curious that the analogy that they make for this Warriors team when they lose is a streetball team (read: black urban "uneducated" youth) losing to "white prep schoolers" (read: white suburban "educated" youth). Way to play the stereotypes over at the blog with the headline "Intelligent NBA commentary from the two biggest basketball fans on the planet", guys.
My other favorite part of their "analysis" is how they gloss over how both Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson were ejected for clapping in the Mavs series. Yes, clapping. If anything those refs should've been ejected for losing their cool and foolishly thinking that people pay good money to see the zebras.
Make sure to head on over to The Association. I have a feeling they'd love to hear GSoMers' respectful thoughts about their curious analysis.