Don’t worry, I’m not about to say that Bowen and Wade are comparable in terms of their basketball talent. I realize Wade is game changer in the NBA while Bowen is a role player who used to be a good defender. So what do the two have in common? I’ll get to that in a second.
On to game 7 between the Hawks and Heat. I find it comical that Josh Smith apologized to the Heat before the game. Clearly this was a mandate from Mike Woodson. Woodson is more worried about being liked by the opposing team than defending his players. I doubt Rondo apologized to Del Negro before game 7. If I was Mike Woodson, I would make a public statement saying that the only thing I was mad about was that he missed it and then publicly point out the cheap shots Miami was resorting to.
Cheap shot #1: I am not sure why the league felt the need to rescind Wade’s block attempt from behind Maurice Evan’s breakaway. He went straight through his body so he knew he would create body contact and more importantly, he knew Evans was in a vulnerable position. I’m sure Hawks fans will remember a game earlier this year against Utah where Josh Smith got tossed out of a game for attempting a block where it was clearly a play on the ball, but the bodies crossed and Harpring went flying. I agreed with that call then because having played enough pick up games, you know how dangerous it is when somebody attempts a block from behind. I think in this case, Wade figured he would get away with it, and he essentially did. The argument that he is a shot blocker so it should only have been a foul doesn’t hold up because each play should be judged independently and if you look at most of those blocks, he will attempt to come in from an angle or the side to avoid the body contact. The TNT crew of Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and C-Webb make no secrets about being defenders of Wade. It appeared they put the blame on M Evans for this play because Webb said he should have held on the rim to avoid this. Basically he is saying you should anticipate getting hit and try to hold on to the rim while flying forward and risk falling on your back. This segment was followed by a T-mobile Wade/Barkley segment.
Cheap shot #2: On the foul where Horford turned his ankle. I thought the foul itself was clean and it was simply unfortunate that Horford turned his ankle. I find it comical that Barkely was adamant that it was not even a foul of any sort and he just fell awkwardly. Even in reviewing the replays, he insisted there was no contact even with Ernie Johnson prodding him. Finally, he only said that Wade fouled him from behind. The part of this that I thought was a cheap shot was from Wade. Once he got beat on the drive, he took a horizontal swap right above Horford‘s head. A couple inches lower and he would have been clocked on the head and the fall would have been 10x worse but Wade would have claimed it was a play on the ball. Fortunately he missed on the swipe.
Cheap shot #3: Oneal as we know took an elbow from Zaza and went down for a while. That was unfortunate but Zaza neither fouled nor was he later assessed any penalties. It was clearly inadvertent. A couple plays later, O’neal clocks Zaza and Fratello just says very as a matter of fact that it was a revenge foul. Since when does the NBA tolerate revenge fouls. That should have been a technical. The easy answer is that they tolerate revenge fouls when it is the team the NBA wants to win that game.
Non Cheap Shot #4: 4 technicals on the S Jones Wade foul. Maybe I didn’t have a good angle here but it looked like S Jones wrapped up Wade, Wade pushed him off, S Jones walked up to him and then people gathered. Much to do about nothing I think. It should have just been a personal foul on S Jones. If anything, S Jones wrapped him to prevent him from falling. I understand the rationale of the technicals, as the refs wanted to send a message to prevent things from escalating. If that was the case though, why didn’t O’Neal get one later (see Cheap Shot #3).
So then Wade goes on to complain that the Hawks need to act more mature as if they have been there before and of course, Woodson bows down to him. In the same conversation, Wade says Maurice Evans is irrelevant and complains about Zaza and implies they need to knock him out before retracting it. Its a funny article if you have not read it because he is mad that Atlanta was disrespectful, ignores the disrespectful actions of his team, and then tries to insult Atlanta Hawks players.
Then you move on to game 6, obviously the calls were going his way with the block on Evans being the cake. Reminds me of the 2nd 4 point play where it does not even look Bibby touched him on the shot. After the Wade block, I’m not sure why Wade did not get a technical after getting the rebound and staring down Evans. That about sums up the definition of taunting.
Fortunately, none of this has affected the outcome of any games. The better team that day has won the game. I see Miami winning game 7 because Atlanta has the worst owners in basketball and the worst coach and the only time the Hawks win games is when Miami players miss open shots. If you do not know about the ownership situation do some searching on www.ajc.com or anywhere and you will find hours of great reading. Basically you have monkeys vs a miser. The monkeys have no cash, common or legal sense and the miser has cash and legal sense. Neither party cares about the team. Then there is Woodson, the worst coach in the NBA. All the success the Hawks have had comes in spite of the coach. Our previous GM tried to fire him multiple times but the owners would not let him. There are some easy things to look for to see if you have a good coach and Ill get into those in another article but Woodson is one of the worst.
But back to the main title of the article. Why is Wade like Bowen? Mainly because he knows exactly what he can get away with and flirts with that line. He plays a smart dirty style of play. He is not a dumb player Carmelo who would ever just throw a punch, he will hurt you in a way where he can make it seem like it was a “basketball” play. Bowen is the master of this and Wade seems to following in his footsteps. Wade will be more successful at this though because he is NBA all-star and ambassador of the league. I must admit, this “smart dirty” type of play is something I hate to see when we play against it, but I love to see players do when they are on my team. Unfortunately, I am a Hawks fan so I hate it and Woodson would never allow it because it might hurt the other team’s feelings.