NBA’s floptacular battle, Nuggets debate and Celtics ice Heat

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Does the NBA need a penalty box for flopping? Let’s get weird.

History In The Making?

Celtics’ savvy forces Game 6

The 110-97 final score won’t convey how thoroughly the Celtics demolished the Heat for the second straight game — backs against the wall with no margin for error. They were up double digits for most of Game 5, even leading by 24 at one point.

Once again, 3-point shooting told the Celtics’ tale. When they’re connecting from deep, they roll opponents. It isn’t just about hitting 3-pointers — it’s how they’re hitting them. For the second straight game, Boston broke down Miami’s initial line of great defense, got the ball to the middle of the floor and swung the ball out for the best shot possible. That’s been the Celtics’ ideal style amid this run in recent years. They’re at their best when the ball is moving and no one worries about who is getting the shots.

Boston made 16 3-pointers on 41 percent efficiency. Derrick White (24) and Marcus Smart (23) led all Celtics scorers, which is actually a great sign for them. Yes, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the stars whose performances matter most. But when the Heat throw extra defenders at them, they need to trust their teammates to make Miami pay.

The Celtics now force a Game 6, something only 11 other teams down 0-3 have ever done. Only three such squads forced a Game 7. Nobody has won. Miami must add a Boston loss to the statistic instead of giving the latter hope. We’ll find out Saturday in Miami.

Time to tag in Shams for an update!

The Latest From Shams

NBA ponders fixing flopping

For fans who think there is too much flopping going on in today’s game, help may be on the way.

On Thursday, The Athletic learned, via sources briefed on ongoing discussions, that the NBA’s competition committee is analyzing the potential of an in-game penalty on plays where a referee deems there was a simulation of a foul — aka a flop.

The resulting penalty being discussed would be a technical free throw awarded. A trial of this new rule and initiative could possibly happen at this year’s Summer League in Las Vegas in July.

Elsewhere, I reported yesterday on The Pat McAfee Show that LeBron James played the last few months of the season with a torn tendon in his foot that could require surgery this offseason. I’m told he is going to undergo further evaluations, but that surgery sidelining him for two months is among the possibilities.

LeBron, of course, caused quite a stir in the NBA world when he hinted he is at least considering the possibility of retiring this offseason following his team’s sweep at the hands of the Nuggets.

Back to you, Zach.

Is this issue solvable?

Many people have joked about a penalty box, ala the sport of hockey, being the proper flopping punishment. For all the chaos that would create (and we here at The Bounce are very pro-chaos), it would disrupt basketball games too often.

My issue with this idea isn’t about the NBA’s competition committee considering it. I was simply under the impression the NBA’s league office was already policing this. At least, that’s the system put into place back in the 2021-22 season. The initial penalties were strongly written letters as a warning before more flopping violations led to fines. Six or more violations “could” lead to a suspension.

I do not recall the NBA doing away with this policy either, seeing as Patrick Beverley received a flop warning back in late October.

We might get one warning or fine per season now. If the NBA enforced this policy, it might actually deter things a bit more. A technical foul would certainly stop common occurrences. But the refs actually need help with determining this, considering how hard it is for them to judge it in real time.

Ah screw it. Let’s make a penalty box!

Twitter Fight!

Interesting Nuggets?

Yesterday, one of the more inane conversations/debates/time-wasters happened on Twitter, which occurs when we’re down to a game every other night, at best. A video of Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix was tweeted out by a Nikola Jokić fan account. Mannix said the Denver Nuggets aren’t compelling enough.

This threw NBA Twitter into an absolute uproar about whether or not people should find the Nuggets compelling. Need arguments for them being compelling?

The argument against?

That’s the tricky part and why tweeters wasted an entire day arguing about this. I’m about as big a basketball nerd you can find. I love watching the Nuggets play basketball. They’re extremely fun. But, much like when it comes to talking people out of watching “The Walking Dead,” you can’t change what people do or don’t like.

Should the league put the Nuggets on national TV more? Absolutely. Would it yield promising financial results? Unknowable! You can’t convince someone to find something compelling. Teams cannot whine themselves into being compelling, just as supporters cannot whine their way into converting you. Either you’re compelling or you’re not. Part of the joke about the league not wanting a Heat-Nuggets Finals is because both are mid-market teams while the other option was the hallowed rivalry of Lakers-Celtics.

The Nuggets’ performance and the Finals’ ratings will help us see how interesting the Nuggets are. That’s the only way to determine whether a team or event compels the country — a flawed, archaic ratings system that runs so much of the money negotiations regarding broadcasting rights.

If the Nuggets win the title, they’ll find their way into more national attention. Will it be enough to satiate everybody arguing about this today? It’s Twitter, so … no.

Bounce Passes

Here is an alleged referee scandal involving a Twitter burner account. Study up because we’re diving in next week.

Charles Barkley attempted a Boston accent. It went as expected.

Are the Dallas Mavericks stuck?

Kelly Iko has trade ideas for Houston moving the draft’s fourth pick. James Harden on the way?

Here is a good reminder of how fun the Jason Kidd-Vince Carter Nets were.

Did you ever think you’d hear “Birthday Sex” set to Steven Adams’ highlights? You’re welcome.

The No Dunks crew ponders whether the Celtics are actually going to do this.

(Top photo: AAron Ontiveroz / Getty Images)