The NBA has made a point of cracking down on the act of flopping this year, and it will continue to do so during the playoffs as the league has announced stricter discipline in the event of such gamesmanship.
According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the NBA has increased punishment for the postseason, as the first four offenses will result in significant fines:
The NBA announces flopping policy for the playoffs. No warnings; $5K for first offense; $10K for second; $15K for third; $30K for fourth.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) April 18, 2013
Berger is also reporting that a fifth violation of the flopping rule will result in either a larger fine or perhaps even a suspension:
Five or more flops will invoke discipline that is "reasonable under the circumstances," league says, including fine and/or suspension.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) April 18, 2013
Even though it will take several flops to reach suspension territory, players may very well think twice in the interest of protecting their bank accounts.
Whether or not the NBA truly cares about preventing flopping has been a topic of debate among NBA fans all season long. According to Beckley Mason of ESPN.com, the NBA issued 12 warnings and fines for flopping during the first two months of the season, but as of March 21, only four flops went punished when the calendar flipped to 2013.
Will stricter penalties prevent flopping in the playoffs?
It can be argued that fewer flops are happening because of the stricter rules, but it's also possible that the NBA is no longer gung-ho about stopping flopping. Whatever the case, it is a good sign that the league has made players cognizant of the fact that it will be looking at every play closely.
Cracking down on flopping during the regular season is great, but the playoffs are where it truly counts. Players generally look for every competitive advantage possible during the postseason, so flops are quite common. Any potential flop will now be placed under the microscope.
Hopefully the NBA is as serious about punishing floppers in the playoffs as it was during the first two months of the regular season.
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