In a blog published after the Nuggets pummeled the Dallas Mavericks in game one of their playoff series, I suggested that a hard foul Kenyon Martin laid on the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki set the stage for victory. Now, the NBA has levied at $25,000 fine against K-Mart for this shot across Dirk's bow -- and if he eventually has to pay up (the Nuggets are protesting the penalty), it'll be worth every penny. The Nugs needed to establish early on that trips to the paint will come at a cost, and Martin's forearm shiver did just that.
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That doesn't mean K-Mart should cheap shot Nowitzki every chance he gets. As explained in the ESPN article linked above, players with more than three flagrants in the playoffs will be suspended for a game -- and the last thing the Nuggets need is Kenyon in street clothes. Granted, Sunday's flagrant was Martin's first of the post-season, so he's not teetering on the brink of bench-sitting. But if there comes a moment in tonight's game -- one that could, and probably will, dictate the course of the entire series -- when another message needs to be sent, it'd probably be better if someone else did the delivering.
This sounds like a job for Dahntay Jones...