Big Shot Bob became Cheap Shot Bob with that shoulder into Nash, but the thing I don't get is the NBA's logic in the suspension. I do agree that Stoudemire and Diaw should be suspended for leaving the bench area. Hey, the rule is the rule. You know it. Don't break it. Tough.
(By the way, as a lying SOB myself, I loved the Suns quick explanation that Stoudemire was "going to check in." Great quick thinking. Obviously he wasn't, but in the pantheon of good BS excuses, this deserves an honorable mention.)
But the NBA decided that there was an altercation, and because Stoudemire and Diaw went toward the altercation, they are suspended. Here's the problem though:
Horry knocked over Nash.
Nash got up angry, and Horry and Raja Bell has a stand off. But if that was an altercation, shouldn't Bell be punished for being in the altercation?? And if Bell is NOT going to be punished for being in an altercation, I don't know if Horry was having a one-man altercation (like masterbation, but when you're angry at yourself). So then that begs the question, WHAT altercation were Stoudemire and Diaw going to join in?
Nothing happened after the hard foul. There was no fight to get in. It never happened.
And THEN you must look at the fact that the NBA is punishing the lesser offense of leaving the bench instead of the actual confrontation between Bell and Horry.
Horry deserves to be suspended one game for the cheap shot. Two? Eh, I suppose, but only because he's not a KEY cog in this series. Sure, those clutch shots will be missed, but like you said, 3.9 ppg aren't much (not in this series).
If the Association wanted to get this right, they should have suspended Bell (NOT Stoudemire or Diaw) for him getting Horry's face. They should fine the bench-leavers and give them a technical foul. Then if they do it again, suspend 'em.
Hard fouls are part of basketball. Cheap shots - sadly - are as well. Horry doesn't deserve to be a part of the rest of this series. But according to the rules and a spineless league, neither do Stoudemire and Diaw.
David Stern needs to have the courage to bend his own rules and adapt to some gray area. Otherwise, he's just Bud Selig.
What a scary thought that would be.