Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Justise Winslow's Flagrant Fouls

   Well, I kinda liked Winslow early on. And several times I've said that, especially with the departure of flop-prone Rasheed Sulaimon, this is the least-unlikable Duke team I can recall...
   But I've got to say, Winslow is out of control.
   Of course there was the obvious, outcome-altering foul against Tokoto, opening up a huge lane for Jones to go to the hoop, with 27 seconds left in regulation regulation during the game at Cameron...and don't miss the play with 3.5 seconds left in OT--could very easily have been called a foul on Winslow against Paige...but wasn't. But there didn't seem to be any intent to injure there.
   Thus those fouls contrast starkly with Winslow's kick in the gut to Brice Johnson, and his leg sweep against Justin Jackson: link. That first, flying kick is total bullshit. A kick like that--even though a kind of push kick--low to the abdomen can easily put someone down hard. I'm amazed that that was no a flagrant 2...but it was obviously at least a flagrant 1. Winslow should have been out for the game. Instead, he merely got a PF.
   Then, of course, there's this, which absolutely astonished me when I saw it during the UVa game: what very much looks like an MMA heel lock against Anderson. Anderson's reaction(s) are great...but Winslow compounds his BS foul with a BS reaction pretending that he has no idea what the matter could possibly be...
   Then there was the flagrant foul against Miami that could have seriously injured McClellan on the break...but, once again, it was called a normal PF...
   Look, this stuff happens in hoops...but this Winslow business is bullshit and needs to stop. It's appalling enough that Winslow is pulling it, but doubly appalling that the refs are letting him get away with it.
   Another layer on all of this, of course, is that--at least according to one common view--it's not entirely uncharacteristic of Duke. Consider, notoriously, the Bloody Hansbrough game: link.  (I went back and forth on this for years, and spent a lot of time arguing that it was plausibly inadvertent. For the past year or two, however, I've become convinced that it simply wasn't. I am fairly strongly inclined to believe that it was an intentional shot. Henderson simply does not appear to be going for the ball. His arm is crooked, and he leads with his forearm. Of course we can't be certain...but my current view is that it is likely--fairly likely, in fact--to have been intentional.) [Go to 1:47--the point at which the loathsome Billy Packer says "you can see right there he was going for the ball"--in fact, what you can see right there is that he is not going for the ball at all...]
   Then, of course, there's the famed Laettner stomp...(ugh...Buzzfeed link...but whatever...)...
   I'm not objective about Duke, because I kind of don't like them...but part of the reason I kind of don't like them is this crap. K's attitude, so far as I can tell, is very close to win at any cost. The constant snarling at the refs is for the very purpose of minimizing foul calls (both in terms of quantity and severity) against them. And if you can, in effect, get a discount on fouls, it makes sense to make more of them...  Every coach works the refs...but not like K...  A low-level ACC ref I once had a discussion with on the web claimed: if you're not established, and you cross K, your gigs to ref ACC games are likely to be minimized...
   TBF, Tyus Jones said that the team had a talk with Winslow after the Carolina game. So that's good. But the players shouldn't have to do this. Roy, for example, wouldn't stand for this mess. K though....well, who knows? I'd imagine that this is getting enough press that, even from a purely prudential perspective, he'd need to put a stop to it...

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