The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 18, 2006 · Page 17
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 17

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Hays, Kansas
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Sunday, June 18, 2006
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Page 17
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SUNDAY, JUNE 18,2006 BASKETBJUL THE HAYS DAILY NFWS B5 NBA suspends Stackhouse for hard foul on Shaq Mavericks star will miss tonight's game By JAIME ARON ASSOCIATED PRESS MIAMI — Shaquille O'Neal mocked his collision with Jerry Stackhouse as being less vicious than a love tap from his daughters. The NBA declared it worthy of a one-game suspension. The Dallas Mavericks are calling it a crock. Following the league's announcement Friday that Stackhouse must miss Games of the finals for his hard foul on O'Neal in the third quarter of Game 4, the team's top three officials all lambasted the punishment. "It makes no sense at all," owner Mark Cuban wrote in an e-mail. "There have been more 'accidental' elbows to Mavs players' heads this series than is statistically possible. (Wasn't it (Heat coach Pat) Riley who said that there is no such thing as an accidental elbow?) More stiff arms to faces of our double teams, all without response from the league." Stackhouse was called for a flagrant foul when it happened. But after reviewing the play and discussing the details with both players, league vice president Stu Jackson upgraded the punishment. "The contact by Jerry Stackhouse was clearly excessive and warrants a suspension," Jackson said in a release. The series is tied 2-2 and Game 5 is tonight in Miami. Before the league's decision, Dallas coach Avery Johnson said he didn't think the blow deserved LUIS M. ALVAREZ / Associated Press Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal is fouled by Dallas Mavericks guard Jerry Stackhouse In the second half of Game 4 on Thursday in Miami. a suspension, noting that O'Neal wasn't penalized for hitting Stackhouse hard enough in Game 1 that he opened a gash across the top of his nose that required three stitches to close. "It's just a bunch of baloney," Johnson said on his weekly radio show with Dallas' 103.3 ESPN. "For lack of a better word, it's sickening. Our fans should be upset, our players will be." Donnie Nelson, the team's president of basketball operations, called it "a low blow, especially at this critical time." "We're really surprised and appalled," he said. "The timing of it is the most unfortunate part. This is a bitter pill." Miami was leading 63-51 in the third quarter of Game 4 when Jason Williams stole the ball from Dallas' Josh Howard and drove to the other end of the court. A few steps beyond the foul line, Williams dished to O'Neal for a likely crowd-thrilling dunk but Stackhouse swooped in from the side, taking him down with a head-high shove. "It was a hard foul," Stackhouse said after the game. "When Shaq is going to the basket, we want to try to make him go to the free throw line and earn it." O'Neal did, making both foul shots. The Heat went on to win 9874, leaving O'Neal in a playful mood, especially when asked about the foul by Stackhouse. "My daughters tackle me harder when I come home," O'Neal said. "I'm one of the last players of the old school, and you know, you just have to take a hard foul like that and keep on moving. It actually felt pretty good to get hit like that. Thank you, Jerry Appreciate it." New shot clock, more points in WNBA By CLIFF BRUNT ASSOCIATED PRESS INDIANAPOLIS — When the Minnesota Lynx scored a league-record 114 points last month against the Los Angeles Sparks, the WNBA saw it as a preview, not a landmark. Coaches, players and league officials believe more big numbers are coming, because the league has gone from a 30-second shot clock to a more universal 24-second clock. As a result, scoring is at an all-time high. "It just seems unlikely to be able to score that many points," Minnesota coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. "It's indicative of what can happen." Teams were averaging 76 points through 55 games, well above the record of 70 points per game the league set in 1998 and far ahead of the 67.3-point average from last season. Houston set the record for highest scoring average in a season with 77.3 points per game in 2000; as of Monday, six teams topped that total. League president Donna Orender said the old clock might have held players back and robbed fans of the chance to see WNBA athletes at their best. "Everyone's saying, 'Wow, these players are really good.' And I've been saying, 'You know what? They've been really good for a long time.' We've just given them a better platform to show how good they are." The shot clock change, along with a switch from halves to quarters, has given games a more professional feel. "I think it got us in line with the rest of the world and separated us from the college game," said Renee Brown, WNBA chairman of basketball operations. "It took us a while, but I felt these athletes were ready." Yet,, While the games have featured more offense, teams are averaging two more turnovers There's not a lot of dribbling out there, standing around. It's quicker and it keeps fans more interested. |f Pat Martin, Indiana Fever season ticket holder per game than last year. And the attendance spike the league had hoped for hasn't come yet. Last season, the league averaged 8,173 fans per game; that dipped to 7,107 through the first 55 games this season — though attendance could rise this summer when school is out. The new shot clock has changed the way coaches and players approach the game. "It makes the game a lot more exciting," Washington guard Alana Beard said. "With us, we were mainly a halfcourt team. Run the sets, go through maybe five or six options every possession. Now we have to go one or two options and the shot is going up. I think it's much smoother for our offensive team." Even the defensive-minded Indiana Fever scored more than 80 points in three of their first seven games. "I think it definitely makes the game quicker, and it's allowing teams more possessions," Indiana forward Tamika Catchings said. "I think you get so concerned with not letting the shot clock go off that you end up taking a lot of shots earlier in your offense." Sue Ross, a Fever fan, said teams are going through an adjustment period to the faster speed of the game. Despite a few more turnovers and ill-advised shots, she said she enjoys the game more than in past seasons. "I think once the teams get a little further in the season, you won't see the . sloppy play I think it's a difference right now, but you'll see a lot better play," she said. "I like the 24- second shot clock. I think the scoring is higher, and hopefully that will bring in more fans." Pat Martin, a Fever season ticket holder, likes the change. "There's not a lot of dribbling out there, standing around," she said. "It's quicker, and it ke'ep's 1 the'fatts'm'6re interested in the game." ERIC GAY / Associated Press Minnesota Lynx forward Nicole Ohlde shoots over San Antonio Silver Stars defender Chantelle Anderson during the first quarter Friday in San Antonio. In the offseason, the league's competition committee made up of coaches and general managers voted for the first time on the 24-second clock after having discussed the topic in the past. Kelly Krauskopf, general manager of the Fever, said the timing needed to be perfect if the move was going to work. "It's something we talked about the year prior, but we didn't know if it would really be good," she said. "We wondered, 'Do we need to do it just because the guys do it? Does the game warrant the change? Will it really make it a better game to watch?' It has. It really has." 1 Indiana coach Brian Winters said he wasn't sure how teams would adjust to the new clock. "I was a little worried about a lot of bad shots going up with the 24-second clock, but 1 haven't seen that so far." ho said. "Most teams are getting good shots and pretty good opportunities. I'm not seeing a lot of shot clock violations." The new shot clock also has affected the way coaches manage personnel. "We've been playing 10 players every night," Washington coach Richie Adubato said. "Normally, we'd play eight. We've had to get two move people into the game to play the pressing, running game that everybody is playing so wo can keep people fresh." See these greats and others including Craig Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller, Raymond Floyd and more as they compete for our national championship on one of America's greatest golf courses. * 2006* US. SENIOR OPEN PRAIRIE DUNES HUTCHIN80N, KANSAS JULY 3-9, 2006 TICKETS AVAILABLE ATI • www.2006ussenioropen.com • 877-325-GOLF CHILDREN 17 AND UNDER ARE ADMITTED FREE WITH A TICKETED ADULT —40

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