The Hawks and Magic have turned up the Heat a bit in their seven game series, most notably with the skirmish between Jason Richardson and Zaza Pachulia. Both are serving one-game suspensions for this headbutt/slapface fight.
Stan Van Gundy as he tends to do, added a little more fuel to the fire calling the Hawks a bunch of floppers, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“I like it when guys stand up and fight like men,” Van Gundy said Saturday. “I think that is what the game is all about. The one thing that frustrates me is all the flopping.”Van Gundy has long been on the flopping crusade mainly because that tactic is one of the top defensive moves in guarding Dwight Howard. Pachulia has used it already a number of times in the series and Van Gundy is tired of it.
Van Gundy cited three plays from the Hawks’ 88-84 victory in Game 3 on Friday.
Hawks center Jason Collins drew a charging call when he hit the court after contact with Orlando center Dwight Howard and later did the same to guard Jameer Nelson. Van Gundy said Howard “touched [Hawks center] Zaza Pachulia in the chest on a screen and that sent him to the floor.”
“The one thing I learned is our guys are a lot stronger than I thought they were,” Van Gundy said sarcastically.
I can't really argue with Van Gundy because I despise flopping. I think it cheapens the game. Trying to trick an official into calling a foul where one didn't exist just isn't basketball. It's acting. It's soccer. I don't like it.
But here's the thing: It's effective. Not only does it turn the ball over, but it also puts your team one closer to the bonus and an extra foul on the other team's player. If you pull it off, it's great for you. There's really no downside to it other than sometimes you open up a bit clearer path to the rim if you don't get the call.
I ask the league if there would ever be a consideration of adjusting flopping rules and the answer was that it's come up multiple times in Competition Committee meetings. Maybe if it's an obvious flop, the flopper would get the foul? A technical foul? Create a "flopping flagrant" that gives the team a free throw and the ball?
It's such a tough call to make anyway that nothing will likely ever be done. Which is why this won't be the last time Stan Van Gundy says something about it.