ESNY

After Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford was ejected from Game 3, the reality of the NBA Playoffs being Charmin-soft is real.

By Robby Sabo

Just stop it people. Please, change the angle.

When Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford was thrown out of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, people reacted in such a way that was analyzing the act.

They analyzed the harshness – whether or not it was a warranted Flagrant 2 type of foul.

To me, there’s so much more at work here.

Gone are the days we used to know about the NBA Playoffs. Tough, physical, brutal and completely in your face are descriptions that have flown out the window the past decade of NBA basketball.

Now, there’s not a perimeter player in the world who can’t roam free without hand-checking, or drive hard to the hole without fear of being put on his tall backside.

I’m sure you remember the Patrick Ewing New York Knicks, right?

These were much simpler days for the NBA. Days that featured harder rivalries that spewed more venom than anything we’ve ever seen before.

They featured the Bad Boys of Detroit, Reggie Miller’s Indiana Pacers, and of course, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls who had to deal with all of the physical nonsense.

If these calls were made 20-years ago, the NBA Playoffs wouldn’t have existed.

The decade of the 1990s showcased more aggression, heart and passion than anytime in the illustrious history of the association.

Now, it feels only a handful of teams have a chance at the Larry O’Brien trophy and there is very little rivalry to speak of. Instead of the Cavs and Bulls meaning more in the seven-game series, it came and went with very little fanfare.

This Horford ejection doesn’t warrant argument for how vicious it was, it shows us how Charmin-soft the NBA has become.

If these calls were made 20-years ago, the NBA Playoffs wouldn’t have existed.

The NBA wonders why rivalries have gone down the tubes in the last decade?

Well, wonder no more, by taking away the physical nature of the game, you’ve provided patty-cake basketball many simply cannot get on board with.

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