2021 NBA Playoffs Gamethread

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
4,257
Imaginationland
That's a real sour end to the season for Jokic and Denver. Having an argument with a friend who hate the ejection, saying there's no way Lebron gets tossed for something like that. I'm thinking about it, and I literally can't picture Lebron doing that (or Durant, or Harden, or Embiid, or Kawhi, Curry, Giannis, etc etc). I can picture a smaller guy getting slappy when things are going bad, but when the biggest guy on the court does it, I don't know what you do.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
6,742
Manchester, N.H.
I’m surprised that the consensus here is that a Flagrant 2 is the right call. The Reddit and Insts threads on it seemed shocked by the two and honestly I feel like there’s worse fouls, not uncommonly, that don’t get ejections especially from star players in the playoffs. Maybe I’m skewed with what Wade got away with in the early 2010s but I watched that and was surprised with the heave ho.

Jose: it’s insta and it’s real.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
10,893
I’m surprised that the consensus here is that a Flagrant 2 is the right call. The Reddit and Insts threads on it seemed shocked by the two and honestly I feel like there’s worse fouls, not uncommonly, that don’t get ejections especially from star players in the playoffs. Maybe I’m skewed with what Wade got away with in the early 2010s but I watched that and was surprised with the heave ho.

Jose: it’s insta and it’s real.
If you want to have different rules for different players and in different situations, then yes, ejecting the MVP in the 2nd half of an elimination game seems a bit extreme.

But honestly, that was pretty clearly "unnecessary and excessive" when you consider the windup/follow through and the fact that he hit Payne in the head. It's a Flagrant 2 by any typical definition, it was not a basketball play.

Should the refs review the play, then change the call based on it being Jokic in a playoff elimination game? Not sure I agree there or have much sympathy for Jokic.

The dude totally snapped. Tough end to the season for him, but the call was pretty reasonable I think. Don't want to get ejected? Don't have a 5 second meltdown and risk seriously injuring someone.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
6,742
Manchester, N.H.
If you want to have different rules for different players and in different situations, then yes, ejecting the MVP in the 2nd half of an elimination game seems a bit extreme.

But honestly, that was pretty clearly "unnecessary and excessive" when you consider the windup/follow through and the fact that he hit Payne in the head. It's a Flagrant 2 by any typical definition, it was not a basketball play.

Should the refs review the play, then change the call based on it being Jokic in a playoff elimination game? Not sure I agree there or have much sympathy for Jokic.

The dude totally snapped. Tough end to the season for him, but the call was pretty reasonable I think. Don't want to get ejected? Don't have a 5 second meltdown and risk seriously injuring someone.
I’d argue that the NBA has set different fouling standards for superstars than they do for regular players as I think anyone else would. Was it by rule a Flagrant 2? Quite arguably.

Flagrant Foul Penalty 2: Unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent

It was an unnecessary wind up and swing where his bicep hit the player in the face while his hand hit the ball. I just don’t think other star players end up getting ejected for that kind of play.

Like this which the NBA reviewed after the game and decided on a Flagrant 1

View: https://youtu.be/BBVK0CDo8O0


Giannis was mentioned before which was interesting because he did elbow a player in the face, I’d argue just as intentionally, and fouled out / flagrant 1

View: https://youtu.be/OtXqQPyz0k0


I genuinely don’t have an issue with the call in a vacuum, just feel like that they could issue F2s a lot more often than they do with some players if they’re willing to do it here
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 13, 2013
141
Please give us a Suns/Jazz WCF...
If that happens, I believe it will be the 1st Finals appearance in the Western Conference for a non-Californian or non-Texan team since 2012 (OKC Thunder).

If the Suns/Jazz winner wins the Finals, it'll be the 1st non-Californian or non-Texan to win it all since 1979 (Seattle SuperSonics).
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
39,244
If that happens, I believe it will be the 1st Finals appearance in the Western Conference for a non-Californian or non-Texan team since 2012 (OKC Thunder).

If the Suns/Jazz winner wins the Finals, it'll be the 1st non-Californian or non-Texan to win it all since 1979 (Seattle SuperSonics).
Would be a great ending for a season that seemed destined for a Lakers or Nets title.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
57,338
The best I’ve ever seen Chris Paul play, pretty sure. He of course is a Hall of Famer already, but he shot 26 for 32 in the second half this series, and a lot of those were high degree of difficulty/one man offense moves, really impressive. 25 in the second half tonight was ridiculous, 8 games away from his first title and now they get to watch the Jazz and Clippers beat each other up.
 

djbayko

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
16,238
Los Angeles, CA
Is it necessarily excessive? Perhaps a little. But if you want bat a ball out from the hands of a grown athlete, you have to put some force behind it. If he didn’t make contact with his face no one would have said anything. He’d just be going for a steal.

it’s possible that he did intended to send a message there, but I can’t get inside his head.

I was kind of surprised by the ejection considering: (a) there was a legitimate play on the ball to be made, (b) Jokic doesn’t have a reputation for this sort of thing, and (c) I’ve seen worse.
 
Last edited:

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
10,893
Is it necessarily excessive? Perhaps a little. But if you want bat a ball out from the hands of a grown athlete, you have to put some force behind it. If he didn’t make contact with his face no one would have said anything. He’d just be going for a steal.

it’s possible that he did intended to send a message there, but I can’t get inside his head.

I was kind of surprised by the ejection considering: (a) there was a legitimate play on the ball to be made, (b) Jokic doesn’t have a reputation for this sort of thing, and (c) I’ve seen worse.
LOL. Did you watch the play real time?

It was a total meltdown non-basketball play. He wasn't trying to get a steal, he was frustrated and trying to send a message.

Hitting the head was likely a mistake, thats where he got a bit unlucky and probably caused the ejection. But he was 100% definitely not just going for a steal.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,756
around the way
LOL. Did you watch the play real time?

It was a total meltdown non-basketball play. He wasn't trying to get a steal, he was frustrated and trying to send a message.

Hitting the head was likely a mistake, thats where he got a bit unlucky and probably caused the ejection. But he was 100% definitely not just going for a steal.
Yep all of this.

Non basketball play. Frustrated that refs won't send him to the line when fouled, which is understandable. But he took it out on someone else. Its was a 5 year old's temper tantrum but by a guy with enough force to do serious damage. You have to make that call in game 4 or game 7, although I'm sure it was a lot easier for the league to swallow in a series that was already over.
 

djbayko

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
16,238
Los Angeles, CA
LOL. Did you watch the play real time?

It was a total meltdown non-basketball play. He wasn't trying to get a steal, he was frustrated and trying to send a message.

Hitting the head was likely a mistake, thats where he got a bit unlucky and probably caused the ejection. But he was 100% definitely not just going for a steal.
Yes, I did. He deserved a flagrant, but I was surprised by the ejection. If he doesn't get unlucky, as you put it, and hit him in the face, nothing happens.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
10,893
Yes, I did. He deserved a flagrant, but I was surprised by the ejection. If he doesn't get unlucky, as you put it, and hit him in the fact, nothing happens.
It was just so clearly way way beyond any type of normal basketball play. Booker reacted instantly for a reason.

Sure the face aspect likely escalated it to an ejection, but even without that, it had nothing to do with going for a steal as you implied (I think he gets more than a common foul even without the face contact). It was a full windup max effort karate chop by a huge man in a brief fit of rage.

When you have a tantrum, it's sometimes hard to control exactly what you are doing, hence the face contact. NBA was fortunate that this series was already over, would have certainly been way more awkward in a game 7.
 

djbayko

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
16,238
Los Angeles, CA
It was just so clearly way way beyond any type of normal basketball play. Booker reacted instantly for a reason. Sure the face aspect likely escalated it to an ejection, but even without that, it had nothing to do with going for a steal as you implied.

When you have a tantrum, it's sometimes hard to control exactly what you are doing. NBA was fortunate that this series was already over, would have certainly been way more awkward in a game 7.
I said it was possibly a little excessive. I disagree that it was "clearly beyond any type of normal basketball play" when he literally slapped the ball out of his hands and then went after the loose ball until the whistle. But it looks like we'll just have to disagree here.
 

RetractableRoof

tolerates intolerance
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2003
3,670
Quincy, MA
1) Just watched the play a few times , saw a few angles, and read his post game interview. He WAS trying to make a statement, to try to change the rhythm/whistle. He's done it other times during the year. I wish Tatum / Brown had a little of that in them (only in the context of the current state of refereeing). The reality is, Lebron, Giannis, Durant don't get ejected from the game for that foul. One could argue they don't commit that foul, and the counter argument there is that they don't need to as they get the whistle that Jokic didn't. He wound up, sure. He came crushing down and got ALL ball, not arm. It was a basketball play - with anger and intention to be forceful - but a basketball play. He also grazed the face (I'm not going to argue whether Payne lay on the floor like Marcus Smart to try to draw the soccer foul), which makes it a flagrant. It should have been a flagrant 1. Tatum got smacked in the face a whole bunch this year, and couldn't even get flagrant 1s called for the most part.

2) This doesn't happen if the NBA doesn't have such crappy refereeing. Players shouldn't be thinking "I need to give a hard foul so the refs see I'm ticked at the call". Garbage ref-ing, leads to garbage product. Denver fans watch their team get bounced out of the playoffs with their MVP in the locker room. (No, I'm not in any way saying the refs were a factor in the loss. I am saying with the way the NBA is currently refed, the MVP of the league should have been on the court.)

3) I dislike with a passion the 'superstar' whistle. It's either a foul or it's not. Call the game like it should be called, and you also wouldn't have players ticked off about whether he 'deserves' the call or not.

4) Connaughton sits on the bench looking at the referees and asks where his foul call is...
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
4,703
The side of Jokic’s forearm grazed Payne’s nose. It wasn’t a direct hit to the face with hand or fist. The exaggerated swatting motion was the problem, even though Jokic hit the ball.

Considering the situation as a playoff game, that the contact to the nose was incidental contact, with 95% of the contact to the ball, and considering there is incidental forearm contact to a player’s face many times a game in layup or rebounding action, the flagrant 2 was an over-reaction.
 

Light-Tower-Power

ask me about My Pillow
SoSH Member
Jun 14, 2013
12,400
Nashua, NH
I think the NBA has gotten very soft with the flagrant fouls, but I think that's a flagrant 2 all day long. Not a basketball play at all, just pissed off he missed a shot or thought he got fouled so he ran up to smack Payne and hopefully get some ball in the process.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
6,742
Manchester, N.H.
I feel like the phrases "just pissed off he missed a shot or thought he got fouled so he ran up to smack Payne and hopefully get some ball in the process" and "not a basketball play" doesn't really square with the fact that he hit the ball square on with his hand, forced the potential steal, and the contact to the face was from a part of his body that I don't think can reasonably be argued that anyone would use to hit another person (if Jokic wanted to hit the man and make a statement, every other part of his body would be more dangerous and intentional). I agree it was a reckless gameplay decision (that angle for most human beings is not viable for a steal attempt and is likely going to result in some level of incidental contact somewhere in the process as it did here) and the windup was ill advised as well. The more I watch it though, the less I can get to the argument that it wasn't an attempt to at least steal the ball. He got the ball, the ball was dislodged, the contact was not seeming intentional to me on the replay.

Doesn't mean it's not a Flagrant 2 in the technical sense, but I totally understand both sides on this one and tend to lean towards it being a call not backed up by standard handling of Flagrant 2's in the playoffs from past crews. *shrug*
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,705
I feel like the phrases "just pissed off he missed a shot or thought he got fouled so he ran up to smack Payne and hopefully get some ball in the process" and "not a basketball play" doesn't really square with the fact that he hit the ball square on with his hand, forced the potential steal, and the contact to the face was from a part of his body that I don't think can reasonably be argued that anyone would use to hit another person (if Jokic wanted to hit the man and make a statement, every other part of his body would be more dangerous and intentional). I agree it was a reckless gameplay decision (that angle for most human beings is not viable for a steal attempt and is likely going to result in some level of incidental contact somewhere in the process as it did here) and the windup was ill advised as well. The more I watch it though, the less I can get to the argument that it wasn't an attempt to at least steal the ball. He got the ball, the ball was dislodged, the contact was not seeming intentional to me on the replay.

Doesn't mean it's not a Flagrant 2 in the technical sense, but I totally understand both sides on this one and tend to lean towards it being a call not backed up by standard handling of Flagrant 2's in the playoffs from past crews. *shrug*
He literally said in the post game that he wanted to "change the rhythm of the game, give us some energy and make a hard foul". That doesn't square with your view that it was purely a legit attempt to steal the ball. If you make a reckless play like that, with intent to make a hard foul, you have to live with the consequences if you end up catching the dude in the face.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,756
around the way
This is like having a conversation with hockey fans after some goon takes out another guy with a clear, targeted elbow to the head. Some guys just haven't seen a dirty hit in hockey ever.

Even Jokic basically said that it was a Non. Basketball. Play.

EDIT: not comparing the two events, except to note people's weird biases.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
6,742
Manchester, N.H.
Look at the Wade video above that was a post game Flagrant 1, and look at the Jokic video and was an in-game flagrant 2, and tell me you don't get why there's disagreement on this one from some parties on what is and isn't a flagrant of particular types, especially when ejections are automatic for it (even acknowledging he'd be ejected with the Flagrant 1 + Escalation with Booker after I believe). I'm not gonna argue this one any more as I've said I totally get it's a Flagrant 2, but there's still plenty of valid reason in my book to think it isn't and I don't think James, Giannis, Durant, etc. get ejected for it either if I'm being frank. Maybe the argument is that more dangerous or reckless plays should be Flagrant 2s and I'd certainly not be opposed to that.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,705
Look at the Wade video above that was a post game Flagrant 1, and look at the Jokic video and was an in-game flagrant 2, and tell me you don't get why there's disagreement on this one from some parties on what is and isn't a flagrant of particular types, especially when ejections are automatic for it (even acknowledging he'd be ejected with the Flagrant 1 + Escalation with Booker after I believe). I'm not gonna argue this one any more as I've said I totally get it's a Flagrant 2, but there's still plenty of valid reason in my book to think it isn't and I don't think James, Giannis, Durant, etc. get ejected for it either if I'm being frank. Maybe the argument is that more dangerous or reckless plays should be Flagrant 2s and I'd certainly not be opposed to that.
That's a different argument than the one you made before though:

The more I watch it though, the less I can get to the argument that it wasn't an attempt to at least steal the ball. He got the ball, the ball was dislodged, the contact was not seeming intentional to me on the replay.
How can you say that when Jokic has effectively said that contact was intentional?

I didn't want Jokic to get booted, but I think it's pretty clearly a Flagrant 2. Some people seem to be arguing simultaneously that the lack of consistency in how these things are called is a problem, and that context (player and stage) should have dictated a different call here, and those two things don't really seem that congruous. If we allow context into the picture, there'll be even less consistency in these things.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
21,827
Yes, I did. He deserved a flagrant, but I was surprised by the ejection. If he doesn't get unlucky, as you put it, and hit him in the face, nothing happens.
Yes this in a nutshell. He wouldn’t have been ejected as there would not have been a basis for the Flagrant-2 foul. It was the contact above the shoulders that ignited the F2.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
7,862
NYC
I’m just glad the series was effectively over when the foul happened. Had it been a Game 7, it would have a brutal call to make either way.
 
Last edited:

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
6,742
Manchester, N.H.
That's a different argument than the one you made before though:



How can you say that when Jokic has effectively said that contact was intentional?

I didn't want Jokic to get booted, but I think it's pretty clearly a Flagrant 2. Some people seem to be arguing simultaneously that the lack of consistency in how these things are called is a problem, and that context (player and stage) should have dictated a different call here, and those two things don't really seem that congruous. If we allow context into the picture, there'll be even less consistency in these things.
My argument would be that Jokic likely intended to hit the hand/arm/ball with his lower arm/hand, not the face with his bicep. "Make a hard foul" can fundamentally be a different thing than what actually happened here (like was said, intent doesn't matter on flagrants in either direction). Do you think he gets ejected with a flagrant 2 without Payne getting incidentally contacted with the bicep to the face and then flopping for effect and instead hits Payne's arm hard? Maybe a Flagrant 1?

If Nikola Jokic's hard foul definition is to swing his arm down and use his bicep to hit Payne's face, well he's probably dumb enough to take the F2, and like I think we agree, him getting the Flagrant 2 for the incidental contact is part of the danger in making a reckless play like that regardless. I just don't think those two points are incongruous - that Jokic can both intend to foul and/or steal the ball (I wouldn't be surprised if some sort innate calculation was that A or B is fine so let's do it) but not intend to hit him in the head as the foul. Like, someone getting road rage on a highway for being cut off may loop around to cut in front of someone but not intend to hit their front end while doing so.

I would argue the lack of consistency is a problem because player and stage have dictated officiating so much and that's not an NBA problem but just a human problem really. If officials didn't provide star treatment to players in the past, perhaps star players wouldn't be so brazen about flailing a karate chop out of frustration to get the ref's attention - it probably just needs to be one way or the other to avoid this issue: either star players get ejection level fouls like everyone else (like Booker got in the LAL series and Jokic did here) or they don't - the wheel of justice is helping no one.

I said I'll stop so I can, but my main point was that the contact that caused the Flagrant 2 didn't seem intended even if he did intend to foul him which to me brings those points together. I get the call even if I don't think the overall situation, based on league context, rose to that level, though I do get both sides. I hope that makes it clearer.
 
Last edited:

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
10,893
He literally said in the post game that he wanted to "change the rhythm of the game, give us some energy and make a hard foul". That doesn't square with your view that it was purely a legit attempt to steal the ball. If you make a reckless play like that, with intent to make a hard foul, you have to live with the consequences if you end up catching the dude in the face.
Exactly this.

It was a reckless non-basketball play. If you do that and don’t hit someone in the face, you don’t get tossed. But if do that and unintentionally hit someone in the face, unfortunately you’re stuck with the consequences.

I can see the superstar treatment/it’s the playoffs argument, but it was a pretty reasonable ejection based on what actually happened. The NBA and Jokic are just lucky it was basically irrelevant.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
4,257
Imaginationland
I’m just glad the series was effectively over when the foul happened. Had it been a Game 7, it would have a brutal call to make either way.
Yeah, that's the unspoken "but" behind every argument that he shouldn't have been tossed. Without context it's brutal to toss the league MVP in the 3rd quarter of an elimination game, but....they were going to lose anyway. That's as close to a guaranteed eventual outcome as you'll get in the NBA playoffs.
 

fairlee76

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2005
3,402
jp
Exactly this.

It was a reckless non-basketball play. If you do that and don’t hit someone in the face, you don’t get tossed. But if do that and unintentionally hit someone in the face, unfortunately you’re stuck with the consequences.

I can see the superstar treatment/it’s the playoffs argument, but it was a pretty reasonable ejection based on what actually happened. The NBA and Jokic are just lucky it was basically irrelevant.
Absolutely right. The wind-up alone made it pretty damn obvious that it was a non-basketball play/tantrum.

Not sure if it was against the Celtics (I think it was?), but Jokic positively quit in a game earlier this season. Pouting, awful body language, etc. Not a great look.
 

JakeRae

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
6,889
New York, NY
Look at the Wade video above that was a post game Flagrant 1, and look at the Jokic video and was an in-game flagrant 2, and tell me you don't get why there's disagreement on this one from some parties on what is and isn't a flagrant of particular types, especially when ejections are automatic for it (even acknowledging he'd be ejected with the Flagrant 1 + Escalation with Booker after I believe). I'm not gonna argue this one any more as I've said I totally get it's a Flagrant 2, but there's still plenty of valid reason in my book to think it isn't and I don't think James, Giannis, Durant, etc. get ejected for it either if I'm being frank. Maybe the argument is that more dangerous or reckless plays should be Flagrant 2s and I'd certainly not be opposed to that.
Wade was making a basketball play. He was running down the court without full control, had a defensive player stop in his path, made a maneuver designed to get past that player, and while doing so hit that defensive player in the head with his forearm. It was properly upgraded to a Flagrant 1.

Jokic took a swipe at a ball in a way I’ve never seen before in a basketball game. The play was inherently dangerous because of the way he made it and was always going to lead to an intentionally hard and unnecessary foul because that’s what he set out to do. Jokic is also extremely skilled and managed to while making that dangerous play, hit the ball. But the flaw in “he got all ball” is that everyone is lucky that’s what happened. It was at least as likely that play resulted in him getting all shoulder/neck than all ball, and if that had happened, he could’ve seriously injured Payne. By mostly hitting the ball the overall impact, which was still a pretty serious one, was dramatically lessened, which just highlights how dangerous the play was. If you get “all ball” you shouldn’t be simultaneously hitting someone’s head.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
4,257
Imaginationland
Absolutely right. The wind-up alone made it pretty damn obvious that it was a non-basketball play/tantrum.

Not sure if it was against the Celtics (I think it was?), but Jokic positively quit in a game earlier this season. Pouting, awful body language, etc. Not a great look.
Yup, it was near the end of the Celtics huge comeback. He was backing down Grant, forced up a shot and was pissed he didn't get the foul call. Tatum got the rebound and as he dribbled past Jokic, the latter stopped complaining to the ref and wound up like he was about to slap at Tatum, just as he did last night. Bit of deja vu here, but he never actually took the swing:

View: https://youtu.be/DooLvymIFPM?t=376


His afternoon was done shortly after that.
 

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
12,560
I just watched this. It is not a normal basketball play because it is almost impossible to swipe with that force at that angle without fouling. It wasn’t like he tried to poke the ball out. He wound up and did a massive swing. He fouled him on the face and on the shoulder and pretty much couldn’t have hit the ball with that motion without fouling.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,583
Yup, it was near the end of the Celtics huge comeback. He was backing down Grant, forced up a shot and was pissed he didn't get the foul call. Tatum got the rebound and as he dribbled past Jokic, the latter stopped complaining to the ref and wound up like he was about to slap at Tatum, just as he did last night. Bit of deja vu here, but he never actually took the swing:

View: https://youtu.be/DooLvymIFPM?t=376


His afternoon was done shortly after that.

We talked a bit about him mentally breaking in that game thread I think. Still one of the stranger things I have seen in a regular season basketball game. His emotions totally took him from a dominating performance to unplayable.