Amare Victimized! Brutal Game 5 Marred By Hooliganism

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Phoenix, Monday April 26, 10:30 p.m


One game after his elbow was brutally attacked, Amare Stoudemire was yet again the victim of a vicious premeditated assault on Monday night during Game 5 of the Trail Blazers vs. Suns Playoff Series.


Previously, in Game 4 of the series, Nicolas Batum, the devious Blazers' forward, cleverly turned his back during a lengthy dead ball situation. Then, without even looking or seeming to notice his opponents, Batum brazenly left his surgically enhanced right shoulder exposed in an attempt to intimidate the Suns players. Stoudemire, a Suns forward who suffers from repeated collisions administered to his upraised right elbow (an elbow that for health reasons must be constantly elevated during dead ball situations to ensure proper blood flow as well as to receive precautionary brain signals to thrust downward forcibly), innocently angled behind Batum. That's when Batum's shoulder collided upward and at a backwards angle against Stoudemire's frequently abused elbow.


Fortunately on Saturday, a pleading and undulating Steve Nash was nearby to make the referee understand that Batum should be penalized for his brazen act. Later, after the game when he had ceased undulating before the referees, Nash exclaimed that he wasn't surprised that the Blazers "took some questionable physical shots at us. What people don't understand about Amare is that he has (goggle) issues."


It was those goggle issues along with Amare's passion to connect with Blazers players that lead again to Stoudemire's victimization in Game 5 tonight. 


After fouling Brandon Roy midway through the 4th quarter, Stoudemire waited patiently for Roy to take his first free throw. Then, sensing that there was extra time to take care of personal hygiene while the referees turned their back to discuss a clock reset, Stoudemire noticed a cloth covering on Roy's right knee. Thinking he could wipe his misty goggles on that covering,  Amare dove head first toward the sleeve/brace in an innocent attempt to clean his goggles. Amazingly, Roy turned and allowed an unprotected Stoudemire to fly past him face first into the hardwood resulting in a game-ending concussion to the Suns big man.


Nash was there again tonight to instruct the referees on the proper punishment for the Blazers but to no avail this time. Unfortunately for the Suns, this time the refs could not bring themselves to call a technical foul for "goggle avoidance."


After the game, Stoudemire pleaded ignorance about Roy's knee injury.  Stoudemire said, "Not only did I not know the guy had a knee injury, I don't even know who he is. They say he was an all-star or something, hard to believe. All I know is the guy has a goggle cloth on his knee."


Suns teammate, Channing Frye, chimed in, "it's just another Blazer knee. In practice last year, all kinds of Blazer knees were driving around me, diving by me and accelerating past me. This Blazer knee is no different."


Game 6 in Portland Thursday will most likely produce similar highjinks.


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