he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Reaction to Brawlh

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Reaction to Brawl

By now everyone has heard about the Knicks and Nuggets brawl during Saturday night's blowout loss. Down by 19 points with a little over a minute remaining Mardy Collins committed his second flagrant foul is as many days, and after some shoving and pushing JR Smith and Nate Robinson fell into the first row swinging wildly at each other. After those two were separated and all peace seemed to be restored Carmelo Anthony cheap shotted Mardy Collins, causing Jared Jeffries to chase after Anthony like a madman. Reminiscent of Joe McEwing and Mike Piazza during the infamous basebrawl between the Mets and Dodgers in a spring training game in 2003.

Now that Anthony's cheap shot has been shown nation wide, it's time to settle down, and think how this affects the Knicks. Despite the fact that all ten players on the floor were ejected it is very doubftul that all ten players will be suspended. Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, Carmelo Anthony, and JR Smith will all definitley get suspensions. Jeffries may receive a suspension, although Jeffries was merely protecting his teammate after the sucker punch, and I would be against a suspension for Jeffries.

Jeffries' suspension will probably be the smallest suspension of the five players. Collins will probably get the next smallest suspension considering he didn't do much after the flagrant foul, and Smith was the one who escalated the problem. I could see Jeffries getting 1-3 games, with Collins getting 5-8 games (not that his presence on the team will be missed much). Nate Robinson and JR Smith will most likely get mildly long suspensions of around 10 games or so, which will hurt the Nuggets more than the Knicks, seeing as Smith is the Nuggets second best scorer and best three point shooter. Meanwhile, the league is most likely to come down hardest on Carmelo Anthony. Despite his public apology Anthony is a top three player in the league, and the league will should use him as an example to all stars that they are not above the game. I can see Anthony receiving anywhere from 15-20 games, which could kill Denver's season.

The Knicks, on the other hand, should rally around this brawl. Jared Jeffries showed the true value of teamwork, putting himself in harms way, three folds. One, he was running to Denver's bench to attack Anthony, and if he didn't get knocked over likely would of been up against the entire Nuggets team. Two, he will receive a fine for the brawl, as will a lot of players. Three, he'll un-rightfully get suspended by the league, which will cost him games and minutes after he just came back from his injury. Teamwork is the way to success, and this brawl could also spark an "us against the world" motto for the team. A motto that fits perfectly for players who had little growing up, most notably Stephon Marbury, and coach Isiah Thomas.

This brawl has Pistons-Pacers all over it. In the aftermath of the crazy 2004 brawl the two teams took two opposite paths to be where they are today. The Pistons went on to play in the championships against the Spurs, and make it to the Eastern Conference finals last season. On the other hand, the Pacers have been on a consistent downfall since the 2004 brawl. Despite making the playoffs even after all of the suspensions the Pacers lost in the second round of the playoffs. Ending Reggie Miller's career. With Miller gone Pacers entered 2005-2006 looking for revenge against the league with an apparently changed Ron Artest. However, it turned out to be the same Artest who, a few games into the season, requested some time off from the team to work on promoting his album. The Pacers would later trade Artest for Peja Stojakovic, Stojakovic left in the off-season for free agency. The Pacers were eliminated in the first round, after finishing exactly at .500 for the NBA regular season. Enter this season the Pacers will likely finish around the .500 mark for the third straight season, a remarkable collapse considering this team won 61 games the season prior to the brawl.

As clearly shown above the Nuggets and the Knicks have one of two paths to take. One of victory or one of decline. Considering the Nuggets will most likely receive the worst of the suspensions, and tarnish their top two player's images I would think the Nuggets will be in for the worst future, in terms of where they are now, and the direction the team was heading before the brawl. The Knicks can't get much worse and they have no choice but to rally around this event, and it is up to Isiah to save his job and use this unfortunate circumstance as a positive.

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