By Chris Le
By now, most of the NBA world knows that David West aggravated his back injury in Game 5 from a Robert Horry screen.
Almost immediately, I could hear everyone in the greater New Orleans area cry murder—and most assuredly, for Horry’s head.
Then the next day, I turn on my DVR and watch my daily round of ESPN’s Around the Horn, and I see Woody Paige, the old and loud boob that he is, screaming that Horry had malicious intent and merits a suspension, citing his “history of dirty plays.”
Aside from last year’s Steve Nash shoulder bump (which admittedly was blatant and deserving of a suspension), what else do these whistleblowers have? Horry has no laundry list of foul play whatsoever; no injury-inducing body of work that I can recall. I’d say you would need more than two cheap shots in a 16-year career to be pegged as “dirty.”
And as far as the back screen against West, I’m meeting the two polarized sides in the middle and calling it a “clean dirty” play. Meaning, I’m not going to naively say that Horry didn’t know West was injured or that the play was even necessary since Manu Ginobili wasn’t driving very hard, looking for a lane. But it was well within reason and far from anything that could be deemed a flagrant foul.
If you think otherwise, then surely you’ve never seen any of the Pistons-Bulls or Bulls-Knicks series in the late 80’s/early 90’s.
I know it’s cliché, but this the playoffs. And the saying is cliché for a reason–it’s true. Regular season basketball is almost a different game than in the playoffs. It isn’t always pretty, peachy, keen or fair.