Fight in New York: Knicks, Nuggets Brawl
With under two minutes left in a Denver Nuggets blowout win over the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden a dirty foul by Mardy Collins on J.R. Smith resulted in a fight, and although not all 10 players on the court were actively fighting they were all ejected from the contest.
Dec. 18 update: Suspensions announced.
The ten players ejected were Denver's Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby, Anthony Miller, Eduardo Najera, J.R. Smith and New York's Mardy Collins, Channing Frye, Jared Jeffries, David Lee and Nate Robinson.
The Nuggets were up by 20 late in the game, yet still had their starters in and in the eyes of several Knicks players and coach Isiah Thomas were showing off and running the score up.
The Nuggets won the game 123-100. Carmelo Anthony had 34 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Former Knick Marcus Camby shot 9-of-11 for 24 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 8 blocks. Stephon Marbury had 31 points and 8 assists in the loss. Eddy Curry added 19 and Nate Robinson had 17.
A fuzzy but tolerable video of the incident is here on YouTube. The ugly stuff starts shortly after the 1:20 mark. And for a longer video of the incident with rap music and some fan scribbles onto the video, click here.
Here is what InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner saw:
As JR Smith was at the basket going in for a fast break finish, Mardy Collins flagrant-fouled JR Smith with an arm that came around Smith's neck from above. Collins did try to grab Smith. He didn't actually hammer his arm down in a full slamming motion or anything, but it was around the neck, which is dangerous.
Smith fell, jumped up and confronts Collins.
Lots of players rush over to where this is taking place.
Nate Robinson comes over and makes things worst by going nutty and throwing some punches while various other players push and shove.
Smith then launches himself at Robinson, tackles him, and the two fall down into the first baseline row, where photographers sit. Both are trying to hit each other.
Players crowd over, pulling the two apart, shoving a bit, etc.
Nate Robinson is now far away, separated from the pack.
Then, as it appeared things might calm down, Carmelo Anthony walks over and punches Mardy Collins, who was actually being restrained at the time. And a split-second after landing the punch Melo backpedals far away from the action, towards centercourt. He punched and bolted, perhaps to avoid a response, or perhaps he realized he just made a big mistake and wanted to avoid making more.
Jared Jeffries, who was right next to Collins during the Melo punch, went wild about it and charged full-on at Melo, but he was being restrained and almost got to Melo at the three-point line but just as he lunged he fell. I think Marcus Camby was the key Nugget grabbing onto Jeffries, causing the fall. Jeffries just got up and kept charging at Anthony, who was now further away, out of range.
Knicks assistant coach Mark Aguirre played a big role in restraining Jeffries.
Lots of other pushing and shoving went on, but those were the key easily-visible events.
Just from reviewing a fuzzy video of the brawl, InsideHoops.com speculates that Collins, Robinson, Smith, Anthony and Jeffries will be suspended. We are guessing that the longest suspension may go to Melo and Robinson, followed by Smith, and then Collins and Jeffries.
It hurts the league to not have Melo on the floor for a few weeks, so we're hoping the suspensions are short.
No fans were involved in this in any way, from what we can see, so in the official eyes of InsideHoops.com this really isn't a huge deal and is not even remotely close to what happened in Detroit between the Pistons and Pacers. It was just a fight, with a select few players throwing just a few punches. It happened to just take a while to end.
I think the incident will wind up being overblown. Hopefully not. And in fact, this may be wrong to say, but I think many fans may appreciate that the fight took place. Numerous NBA observers have felt that emotion is being sucked out of the league. Perhaps some fans will be juiced by this and get some excitement back. The wrong type of excitement, sure. And InsideHoops.com certainly does not condone what took place. But no one is going to stop watching because of this. But some fans actually may watch a bit more.
After the game, Nuggets players basically refused to comment on the incident, while Knicks players were pretty open about being angry that Denver was running up the score and trying to embarrass them in their own building.
The NBA is reviewing the incident and has not yet commented.
InsideHoops.com readers are discussing the incident here on this forum thread. Read what they're saying, and feel free to contribute opinions of your own.
Also on the forums, predict the suspensions that the key players involved in the fight will get.
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