Predictably, Bill Simmons doesn’t think that Rajan Rondo’s shot to the head of Brad Miller in the closing seconds of yesterday’s Game 5 – “about the most blatantly obvious flagrant foul you could commit”, John Hollinger calls it – was worthy of being tagged a flagrant. “That play shouldn’t have decided the game,” Simmons writes. “And it didn’t.”
Sorry, but huh? An inexplicably great play call leaves a man open for a potential game-tying layup, he gets whacked across the face, and then he has to try and make a pair of free throws with less than three seconds left. Oh, and he has to do it with his eyes glazed over and blood dripping from his mouth, since if his coach takes him out of the game then the opposing coach gets to choose a sub. Yep – in contrast to giving the Bulls a chance to tie the game with free throws and then win it with an unlikely last second shot, letting Rondo off the hook didn’t decide the game at all.
But heck, why stop there? After all, Miller is a pretty good free throw shooter, and it’s not as if the foul left him blind or paralyzed. So why even bother whistling the foul? I mean, couldn’t that have decided the game, if say Miller had made the first free throw and then the Bulls had slammed in a miss on the second? Or maybe they could have called a flagrant foul on Miller, since then the Celtics would’ve gotten two shots and the ball, in which case the play would have been really irrelevant!
As Simmons might predictably have put it had the call gone the other way, The NBA! Where game-deciding non-calls on career-threatening fouls happen!
Anyway, apologies to those of you who don’t care. But it’s my blog, dammit, and given the amount of whining the Celtics were doing after Game 4, I feel entitled to vent. Hopefully the refs will look the other way when I run onto the court in the final seconds of a close Game 6 and remove Kendrick Perkins’s head from his shoulders. Because, you know, we wouldn’t want to let that decide the game.