In a classic example of biting off your nose to spite your face, the NBA by suspending Stoudamire and Diaw will have severely damaged its present and future product if the Suns do lose this series. As I alluded to in yesterday's Memo to Stern post, the NBA is a copycat league. The best thing for the league is for one of these run and gun, high scoring teams to win an NBA Championship. Such success will lead other GM's and coaches will emulate that style of play, thus ushering in a new NBA golden age. If San Antonio or Detroit wins, the league will remain in a status quo because nothing will have changed much over the past few years. While the Spurs and Pistons play the game well, they do not have captivating styles of play.
Even if the Suns overcome the 3-2 deficit against the Spurs and beat the Jazz to reach the NBA Finals, the copycat effect will only take place if the Suns win the title. Otherwise their system will be viewed as one that can get you close to the top, but not all the way there and the old adage will continue to hold true- Defense wins championships.