You Kids Be Careful
The moment after the whistle blows is often one of the most subtly interesting parts of any NBA game.
And this is not to say it’s interesting because it's the time when players often get angry and technical fouls are doled out – that part of a game is more of a necessary evil than anything else.
More interesting are the soundings of the whistle that are not directly followed by a technical; those quieter moments when the action pauses and the defenders suddenly relax.
In many such instances, a player on offense will take the opportunity to hoist a free practice jump shot, and quite often, a mini drama plays out when a defender decides that said player isn’t going to get the satisfaction of seeing his jumper go in, at which point the defender jumps up and swats the practice shot away.
Apparently this is some kind of moral victory, if nothing else, and it's usually at least reasonably amusing to watch, especially considering that it happens with the backdrop of an otherwise boring lull in action.
On other occasions, a player with the ball will continue driving all the way to the rim after the whistle and attempt to throw down a monstrous dunk.
Usually, nothing comes of this.
But on Wednesday night, it had disastrous results for the Celtics.
Already without Paul Pierce for an extended period of time and tonight without two other starters (Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West), the Celtics lost the the player who had become their de facto leader of late when Tony Allen attempted an after-the-whistle dunk, bricked it hard and then landed awkwardly, immediately falling to the floor and reaching for his knee.
You should have heard how quiet the Garden was as the Celtics’ already crappy season stepped directly into another gigantic, steaming pile of dung.
(Can seasons step in dung? Well, in any case, you get the idea.)
And not to sound too much like a crotchety, conservative, stuffy old fart, but you’d hope what happened to Tony Allen will be a cautionary tale for the other players in the league, because the swingman’s breakout season is probably over, and for no good reason.
What the NBA really should do is make any shooting or dunking that’s blatantly after the whistle a technical foul. That would really help curtail this madness.
Wow, now I really sound like a salty old man. What’s gotten into me?
And what’s a guy gotta do to get some applesauce around here?