In watching the NBA Conference finals, I cannot help but become more and more frustrated with the officiating. The flagrants, the technicals, and the ticky-tacky calls have done all they can to keep me from watching. Fortunately for the NBA, my fan hood, and the lack of any other solid programming, has kept me tuning in night after night.
Let's begin with last night's game four of the Eastern Conference finals.
The foul called on Mickael Pietrus while he was guarding LeBron in the final seconds of the game was nothing more than the NBA wanting to see the best players in the finals, not the best teams. If this is just about who is the best player, why don't we just turn the whole thing into a trickshot competition.... I'll get the Globtrotters on the horn.
If you are going to call the foul on Pietrus, then how can you not call the foul on Andy Varejao on the next play. Personally, I don't think either should be called. Both players played excellent defense. LeBron fell so he got the call. Dwight stood his ground and was rewarded with...well nothing.
Not only are bad calls being made, the refs are simply calling way too many fouls.
Clearly the refs are not subscribing to the old adage "let the boys play." The number of fouls called has increased from 33 personals in game one to 50 personals in game four of the East. I understand that players are going to be more physical as the series goes on, but how can the foul discrepancy be so large?
Calling 50 fouls almost makes the game unbearable. It seems like there is a foul called on every play in the fourth quarter. There is no rhythm or consistency to the game.
The technical-foul calling has been extremely oversensitive. Last night's technical call on Howard for "taunting" Andy was completely unwarranted. Howard completed an and-one and pumped his fist in no particular direction. By calling that a technical, the NBA is telling their players and the kids who look up to them to never be happy with their accomplishments.
I thought this was competitive basketball. In the heat of the moment, players are going to show some emotion. That does not constitute it as taunting.
Even if it did, why do we all have to subject to this liberal point of view where we cannot hurt anybody's feelings anyway? Why are teams and players not allowed to humiliate their competition? In Roman times, not only did they humiliate them, they made sure they did not leave the arena alive. In comparison, I see nothing wrong with a little fist pump after a key play.
Today, Howard's technical was rescinded, but it still turned the game and gave the Cavs all the momentum. Magic were able to bounce back, but what if they could not? Would the NBA have given them the game? I think not. Refs need to hold their whistles. They are hurting the game.