I remember back in the days of playing ball at the playground and we had that rule in one-on-one where if one guy got up 7-0 over another guy to start a game, the game was over. We called it the "7-0 Skunk." I'm sure everyone is familiar with this rule, and if not, I don't know where you played ball.
The point of the rule was to clear the court for the next guy, because what's the point in watching a guy fail to come back from an 0-7 deficit? Everyone watching knew he wasn't going to back a 10-7 run. If a guy gets up like that on you, the point is made. He's killing you. So let's get to the next game. Do we really need to sit here and watch you keep losing?
It's a rule that the NBA could stand to adopt to help speed things along sometimes. Clear Cleveland's court to make room for the Celtics or Magic.
As I type this, the Cavs and the Hawks are playing Game 4 of their semi-final playoff series. The Cavs are on fire right now, while the Hawks are simply outclassed. The Cavs have won all seven of their playoff games by double digits and are playing on another level than the Hawks. It's not the Hawks' fault, because there isn't much they could have done to stop the beating that they're catching right now.
But there is something that the NBA could do. Everyone knows that the Hawks have no shot of even getting back in the series, let alone winning it. The Cavs know it, the Hawks know it, the 98 or so Hawks fans worldwide know it. That's why most of them stayed home tonight. They thought to themselves, "I already saw LeBron strangle the life out of them on Saturday."
So why not implement the "3-0 Skunk" rule?
Let's face it: If you're down 0-2 and can't stop from getting blown out at home in Game 3, do you really think there's a hope that you're coming back at all? Game 3 was supposed to be the game where you start fighting back. Were you waiting for Game 4 to mount your final defense?
Cleveland has already made their point. Unless they enjoy the thrill of risking of injury, there's absolutely no reason for them to play the Hawks again. They didn't just beat them; they beat the brakes off of them, mollywhopped them, whatever colorful phrase anyone can think up to describe double digit blowouts in three straight losses, the Cavs did it to the Hawks. Just call the series. Even if the Hawks manage to win Game 4, they're not rallying back. Does it really mean anything if they win one after losing three? Where was that effort two or three games ago, when it would have made a difference? Even if they win one, they're still losing Game 5 in Cleveland.
Same goes for Dallas. It's over.
And this rule can be used in more than just playoff games. We can make it work in regular season games, too. If a team is up by 30 or more points going into the fourth quarter, just call the game. I know most coaches use the time to get their bench players some run, but how much of a benefit is it to have bench players play against other bench players in garbage time? Coaches, you can do the same thing in practice. Let's just call the game, so we can get more time listening to Charles interrupting Kenny and EJ.