Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday night games

Flop of the night:
An as yet anonymous Jazz defender guarding Carl Landry in the post. Flops on contact, and gives up an easy layup. Pretty sure Sloan didn't draw up his 'fall on the ground' defense for that one.

(Details are sketchy because I only saw it on an ESPN highlight... more details to follow.)

[Update: according to commenter Jeremy, it was D-Will.]

Sun-Spurs:

Lots of play-acting: Kurt Thomas pretends to get assaulted as he goes around a screen in the third; Duncan trips over his own feet; Giricek pretends to flop coming over a screen.... (maybe on this one he got himself out of position which opened up the entire defense for a Parker drive?); and of course Ginobili continually throwing his hands up into the air (was he trying to start the wave?).

In general there was a lot of flopping around screens, but as long as the NBA refuses to acknowledge the moving screen, why keep trying?

One that was pretty bad: Kurt Thomas, setting a screen, jumps backwards and falls down as Diaw tries to go around. Diaw wasn't exactly friendly about it, but from my eyes, did not generate near enough force to propel Thomas directly backwards. I'd like to do some physical reconstruction of this, a la Oliver Stone's JFK.... back and to the left.... back and to the left... just to point out how much Thomas helped himself fall down. I'm not saying he didn't get fouled, as Diaw looked pretty frustrated getting around the screen, but CT gets the flop-assist.

General observations on the series: I think the Suns and Spurs were trying to out-do each other in the flop department. A year ago, I probably would've said the Spurs were the worst floppers. But in number of attempts, I'd say the Suns have caught up (if you can't beat 'em, copy 'em). Only the Suns aren't nearly as good at it as the Spurs. For the Suns, it throws them off their game, while San Antonio seems to flop more 'in rhythm.' When the Suns flop, play seems to just go on without them, while when the Spurs flop, they seem to be able to make it a dead ball so they can't get out of position (think of Ginobili's flop and losing the ball out of bounds from a few days back).

Aside: the youtube clip below shows just how bad the Suns are at flopping, and by bad, here I mean, they don't execute it. Nash just falls down, but can't pick up a call. (Spurs fans: yes, Ginobili receives a hard foul at the end of the play. )



At any rate, the flops tend to go down in the second half and into the fourth quarter. It seems when things are really on the line, players are less likely to go fishing for calls, and just play basketball.

But when you compare this series to other series, this one stands out. How many flops in the Atlanta-Boston series? How many times does Lebron even need to try and flop considering all the help he's getting from the Wizards? I think Kenyon Martin flopped once in the DEN-LA series. But flopping is what's standing out about this series. The Spurs closing out games, and the Suns turnovers (esp games 1 and 5) should be the storylines... and for the flopping to detract from that is just sad.

Lately Stern has been trying to focus everything on the game. All the crap about menacing gestures, all the stuff with players complaining to refs. For me, flopping is in the same category. It detracts from the game itself. Because it's a sham when he says these are the best athletes in the world, and then they fall down every other possession like they're a bunch of bowling pins.



1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I didn't see the ESPN highlights, but I think the play you're referencing was Deron Williams flopping, which I've almost never seen him do.