Stu Jackson, Please Explain

  • Udonis Haslem chucked a mouth guard that bounced near a referee.

  • Shaquille O'Neal, like fans everywhere, complained about the refs.

  • Reggie Evans reached between Chris Kaman's legs and tried to rip his balls off.

Reggie Evans got by far the smallest punishment of them all--a simple $10,000 fine.

He's not even bothered. Chris Tomasson and Aaron J. Lopez report in the Rocky Mountain News:

"I'll just write it off (on his taxes)," Evans said of the fine. "I'm just happy I'm playing."

When discussing the incident, Evans wouldn't directly confirm or deny he did what Kaman charged.

"The tape speaks for itself without me saying it," Evans said. "If I did something wrong, I would have been suspended. Let's put it like that."

Evans shrugged off Kaman describing in detail what Evans allegedly did early in Saturday's second quarter. Kaman said Evans tried to "rip off" his private parts.

"A man is entitled to say whatever he wants to say," Evans said. "It's America, freedom of speech."

Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said the NBA made the "right decision" because "you really can't conclusively" see what happened. But Kaman disagreed.

"I thought it was clear what he did," he said. "What the league did say was that it was an unprecedented event and they weren't sure how to handle it. I think that's kind of (ridiculous). I mean, a guy throws his mouthpiece and gets suspended for one game. A guy who bumps someone gets suspended for one game. Then this guy does this and it's a $10,000 fine."

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy thought Evans would be suspended, saying he was "surprised by" the decision. Dunleavy said he had heard this was "a more serious incident" than some other recent suspensions.

Clippers forward Elton Brand claimed it was a repeat incident by Evans.

"Somebody said he did it in college," Brand said. "They had tape."

Evans, who played at Iowa, declined to comment on that charge. But the Nuggets weren't shy about directing comments toward Evans.

"We've been killing him," Nuggets guard Greg Buckner said. "We can't believe he did it."

I suppose the karmic retribution is that the Nuggets got bounced from the playoffs. The Clippers won their first playoff series since Jack Ramsay was their coach, Bob McAdoo was their star, and the team was called the Buffalo Braves. It has been thirty years. Highlights.

But they believe. J.A. Adande from the L.A. Times:

When they got back to the locker room, Elton Brand told his teammates, "We don't want to stop here. Don't open the champagne up yet."

"We want to go as far as we can go," Corey Maggette said. "This is the year that we can."

After Clipper Coach Mike Dunleavy described the process in such routine terms — Defend. Win on the road. Get to 45 victories. Secure home-court in the first round — I asked whether he ever had time to let his imagination loose.

"I always let my imagination go," Dunleavy said. "From the very beginning, I look at the path, potentially, that you could take to win a championship.

"There's not a team out there, matchup-wise, that we don't think we can beat. I'm not saying that we're the favorites or we're better than Detroit or San Antonio, whoever the elite teams have been. But, you know, if they don't come to play well, I think we can beat those kind of teams

"And that's a good thing. That's a great feeling."