Game 1 in the land of the Alamo read like an old script. Spurs win. Suns lose. Duncan wins. Shaq gets angry.
Shaq is angry about the Suns' letdown in the fourth quarter and overtime. Shaq is also angry about what he continues to perceive as the Spurs' level of flopping.
As reported by the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro and Doug Haller:
"They weren't defending me," he said of the Spurs. "All they got to do is flop. It's frustrating that the referees don't allow two guys to fight. It's supposed to be two guys fighting, and one guy's out there flopping. A lot of times, I didn't do anything. But...I guess all you got to do is just walk next to me and fall."
Curiously enough, the general manager who brought Shaq to Phoenix doesn't see the matter in the same light:
"They've got guys who are smart," [Steve] Kerr said. "Kurt Thomas and (Fabricio) Oberto are very good about taking charges. I don't buy it. It's not about flopping. It's about competing and winning and getting through what you have to get through. That's part of the game. You just have to deal with stuff. That's where we'll get to. We'll get to that point. That's part of this process."
Whether he believes what he is saying or not, Kerr gets credit for taking the right road on this one.
The Suns have enough cards stacked against them so far as their lack of a mental edge against the Spurs is concerned. The last thing they need to do is get into any sort of dopey mud-slinging over the Spurs' purported flopping. Making complaints about it to the media isn't going to do the team any good -- the league has been hearing these for several years now and will either have the officials deal with it or not -- it's hard to imagine it will be impacted by any comments from opponents at this point. So it would seem that the far classier way to deal with the matter would be to prop the Spurs for a job well done and focus on winning the next game. The whining can only cause more distractions at this point.
Good to see the GM looking to keep his troops focused.