NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: After all the hoopla, the technical foul subplot was irrelevant
When both Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace picked up six technical fouls in the playoffs, it seemed only a matter of time before Perk’s cursing and scowling Sheed’s tantrums disqualified one or both of them from a crucial playoff game.
Only it never happened, and now with Game 7 the only one left on the slate, technical fouls couldn’t be less important. Sure, the Celtics have awarded other teams a few free points throughout the playoffs with their emotion and polite complaints, but in the grand scheme of things, they still made it to Game 7 of the finals without losing anyone to a suspension because of techs.
Then again, if Perkins had picked up his seventh technical foul in Game 6, maybe the result would have been a bit less tragic than his knee injury. As humans, we naturally prefer explainable, understandable results, and Perk going down with a freak injury doesn’t exactly qualify. Him losing his temper and picking up his sixth technical foul in a fit of rage? Not only understandable, but practically expected. Then it wouldn’t seem quite so fated, as if Perkins decided his own playoff destiny rather than have it snatched out from under him. Isn’t it all much more fun that way?
It should be interesting to see how the lack of suspensions affects the potential for off-season rule changes. David Stern mentioned during the Eastern Conference Finals that the league would review the technical foul rules, particularly in how they relate to potential suspensions. Had Perk or Sheed been suspended from a crucial finals game, the rules would almost certainly be tweaked. Yet with no Celtic technically disqualified, there’s nothing to force the league’s hand. We could see the technical foul status quo carry over into next season.