I like YAYSports. I think they are usually right on the mark with stuff. But in this case, they're just plain wrong.
They quote my complaint about the series and say it can't be justified. And I guess the way I wrote it, you could probably be right in saying that. But my issue wasn't so much that the rule was applied to the Phoenix Suns. My issue was that the rule wasn't applied to the San Antonio Spurs. The rule isn't as ironclad as they make it sound. Stu Jackson even admitted that the limit for leaving the bench is somewhere between 1 foot and 25 feet. That doesn't sound like a cut and dry rule to me.
Amare and Boris obviously left the bench and should have been suspended. But Tim Duncan also obviously left the bench (along with Bruce Bowen who pulled him back) after Elson hit the floor hard when he hung on the rim and ran into James Jones. My question is: What constitutes an "altercation"? Does Tim Duncan walking 6 feet onto the floor when one of his players falls to the ground actually cause more of a chance for an altercation? Elson certainly looked angry after the incident. So did Tim Duncan. Duncan obviously wasn't happy about his player being undercut. It even appeared there were words exchanged after Elson fell.
So what exactly constitutes an altercation? How far off the bench do you have to be to be considered away from the immediate vicinity? When is an altercation not an altercation? Marc Cuban, Stu Jackson, David Stern and YAYSports all agree that the rule is ironclad and can't be changed.
And I say that isn't the case. The rule obviously needs some type of clarification along with the regular suspension rules for rough play. Do I think Horry deserved to be suspended two games for what he did to Steve Nash? Probably not. But even the front office knew they couldn't just suspend Horry, Stoudemire and Diaw the same number of games for what was a dirty play by a dirty player (despite what Horry says about himself and the foul). And what was the difference between what Horry did and what Baron Davis did? Isn't what Davis did a lot worse because he used an elbow and it was obviously a non-basketball play?
I'll say it one more time. The rules are not clear cut and the Suns got screwed because of it. There is obviously some sort of interpretation that needs to take place otherwise Tim Duncan would have been suspended as well as Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw. The rule does need to be changed after the season. I don't think it needs to be removed or changed to allow for what Amare and Boris did legal. But it does need to either be changed that way or changed so that there is absolutely no question about what constitutes an altercation and how far off the bench you have to be during said altercation to have it be considered a suspendable offense.