Flopping in the NBA is getting out of control.
With 2:53 remaining in the second quarter of a 39-37 game, Pacers forward Danny Granger received the ball at the free-throw line. He caught the ball and immediately the pesky Stevenson made a swipe at it. Then, like any other player in the league would do, Granger tried to create separation by squaring up with his elbows.
It’s a quick move intended to get Stevenson off his back if only for a moment.
Instead, the actor—err, defender—collapsed to the ground and made it look like he had just gotten hit with the most devastating elbow of all time. Stevenson laid on the floor as he looked to be in excruciating pain from the Granger elbow.
In the heat of the moment, the referee blew his whistle and deemed the play an offensive foul. Nets ball.
When watching the play in real-time, it’s easy to understand why he made the call. But once you slow down that puppy to slow motion, it makes you sick.
This is the sort of acting that can win an Academy Award of some sort, not a basketball game. It’s another painful example of the shift in defensive philosophy that some players are now using in the NBA.
Blame soccer, I suppose.
Players are willing to sell a fake foul rather than play strong defense and earn the basketball back.
The Nets ended up blowing out the Pacers 100-84 so the play ultimately didn’t matter much, but it’s just the latest example of the flopping epidemic currently plaguing the NBA.