I apologize for the headline, which is a result of the beta “New York Post Headline Generator” I’m trying out. The first three headlines were all about Mahmoud “Iran Jerk” Ahmadinejad, so I figure this is as good as I’m going to get.

Anyway, the headline refers to Cliff Robinson’s still shadowy, fresh-off-David-Stern’s-desk five-game drug suspension. Uncle Cliffy will not be paid during these five games, and should the Nets lose three of them, they’ll be done for the postseason. As Dave D’Allesandro notes in his ever-feisty, always engaging Nets Blast, “if anything can or will tip the balance in this series, this is it.” He goes on to add:

Just one thing we should add here, before everyone jumps to conclusions: The last time this guy was suspended — that would be two weeks before he was traded to Jersey — it was because he didn’t pick up a phone…

Until Brad Marshall, the agent, comes out of hiding, we won’t know whether this is a similar situation (which, granted, is a long shot). Not even the team knows why Robinson was snagged — the league doesn’t release any information to it. Those are the rules, no exceptions.

Nets fans, start the conspiracy theorizing. Stephen Del Percio, who sent me the link, already has. As have I. Is there no limit to the trickey to which the NBA will resort, all to get Michael Doleac into the next round?