2009 NBA Playoffs: The Ultimate Controversy
As an editor for Bleacher Report, I have come across various articles regarding to the way the NBA officials have handled certain situations.
In addition, many writers seem to bring about the inevitable fact that the Los Angeles Lakers will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA 2009 Playoffs.
Undoubtedly, I do not want to believe that. In my mind, I want to believe that the three officials during each and every playoff game are on the court to do their job.
Not to be biased, not to punish one athlete for a certain play and let another one off the hook for the same type of situation, and ultimately, not to secretly help advance one team to the Finals just for publicity, more ratings, and money purposes.
Many would agree with me that there have been numerous "questionable" calls throughout the first two rounds of the NBA Playoffs thus far.
From a fan's perspective, these calls could have made or broken certain teams chances at progressing in the playoffs.
During the first round matchup of the Celtics and the Bulls, Rajon Rondo smacked Chicago's center Brad Miller with only seconds remaining in the game, only to win the game after two missed free throws from the bloody-nosed big fella. When fans worldwide watched the replay, everyone reacted in the same way, a guaranteed flagrant foul.
The officials did not believe so. They called the play just a hard foul.
During another game in the series, Rondo literally yanked Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich, throwing him into the check-in table, causing what almost turned into a fierce brawl. Rondo was never suspended for the move.
Fast forward to the Lakers-Rockets matchup and you will notice that the officials for this series have a totally different mindset.
Rockets forward Ron Artest has been ejected in two of the four games played thus far in the series.
One was for simply confronting Kobe Bryant after taking an elbow to the chest and the other for a making a hard foul with only 43.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Both these ejections were extremely questionable, especially if you compare them to Rondo's grimy tactics against Brad Miller and Kirk Hinrich.
Could the reason Artest has gotten harsher punishment is for the fact that they are playing against the royal Los Angeles Lakers?
Is it possible that the officials are subliminally saying that you can throw an NBA player into the stands and smack them across the face if they play for a team like the Bulls, but if you face up against one of the premier teams (such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers) you will immediately get ejected for simply confronting a player?
What about the Orlando Magic's questionable suspensions?
In a blow out loss to the Boston Celtics, point guard Rafer Alston decided to slap Eddie House in the back of the head. Alston received a one-game suspension.
Compare that again to Rondo's questionable calls and what do you have to say to that?
Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics starting center, gave a hard elbow to the throat area of Orlando's forward/guard Mickael Pietrus. If you watched the replay, you could easily see how dirty of a play it really was.
Compare that to Dwight Howard's elbow to Samuel Dalembert's head during the first round of the playoffs and what do you say to that?
The rule states that any hitting above the shoulders results in automatic suspension.
Why was Perkins not suspended for that play?
The last questionable call that really blew my mind was Game Three for the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks.
With only seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets trailed by two with the ball in their hands. Mavericks Antoine Wright immediately attempted to foul Carmelo Anthony, but with no call made, Melo shot the wide open three pointer, only to drain it and win the game.
Owner Mark Cuban left the game in total disgust, as Josh Howard ran after the referees with fire in his eyes.
Now the officials must have known that the Mavericks had one foul to give. They also had to have known that Wright was clearly attempting to foul Anthony.
After the game the NBA stated that the refs should have called the foul, but what does that do for the Mavericks and each and everyone of their heart broken fans? Nothing.
Now I must say, the NBA 2009 Playoffs have been absolutely astonishing and truly amazing thus far. Just like the commercials say, the NBA is really where amazing happens.
But what is a true fan supposed to think from all these bizarre and questionable calls so far?
More and more fans are starting to believe that something fishy is going on in the NBA and that the league has planned to have the Cavaliers face the Lakers in the Finals, regardless of the scenario.
What do YOU think about all of this? Post a comment below and let's begin the controversy!
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