What will happen: because of the recent focus on concussions in sport, and because of World Peace's reputation, and because we've become a nation of pussies, he will get a severe suspension, probably tied to Harden's recovery. Given that concussions are hard to recover from because of all the hoops you have to jump through now, Harden could be out a good long time, possibly the entire first round if OKC sweeps. So expect maybe 4-5 games, maybe longer.
What should happen: Flagrant 2, ejection, immediate one game suspension, with maybe an extra 1 or 2 games at most added by the commissioner after review because of the egregiousness of the blow.
The event should not be evaluated apart from context.
OKC, particularly its bigs, is known as a team that plays rough and commits hard (arguably dirty) fouls.
It was a game with playoff-level intensity from the start, a national Sunday showcase game with both teams really trying to win to cement their places in the playoff standings. There had been a number of hard fouls and a lot of woofing up to that point in the game and the officials had not maintained control.
And maybe most importantly, Harden pulled a bitch move the way he stepped up in front of World Peace as he was heading up the floor with his head turned the other way. The way he stepped in front of World Peace blind, he pretty clearly intended for World Peace to run into him so he could flop and maybe draw a foul.
There are a lot of things about the modern game that bother me: the virtual disappearance good post play and the mid-range game, the degradation of free throw shooting, the tendency of modern players to eschew the smart play for the flashy play, the lost art of the two-for-one just to name a few.
But there is nothing about the modern college and pro game that bothers me nearly so much as all the flopping that goes on. ESPN has been running a 'flop of the day' series of articles for several days now, so I'm apparently not the only one irritated by this.
Harden didn't deserve getting his clock completely cleaned in that manner but it would have been justifiable in my view for him to receive a hard forearm to the ribs, a hard shoulder to the sternum, or a push to the floor for doing an intentionally irritating thing like that. Maybe he and other players in the league will think twice about making these sorts of plays if a couple of guys doing it get run over.