The Celtics held the Orlando Magic in check for most of the game with a tenuous defense and a solid offense with Ray Allen scoring 25 and Pierce 22. Still, in order to win they had to overcome an awful, and even questionable job done by the referees.
It seems for most of the game, the referees had blinders on that favored the Magic, whose charms came up sort this time. Clearly, time and time again they let Dwight Howard off the hook.
In the first period, Howard came over the back of Perkins to get a rebound, elbowed him in the stomach, and bumped him aggressively, and even gave Glen Davis a nice elbow in the face. No calls. Howard once even stepped out of bounds. No call.
Even the broadcasters got into the game when a ball went out on bounds off Howard's knee stating that it that had not touched him, although the replay clearly showed it did.
Then when Rondo drove to the basket and was hammered by Howard, the referees watched idly by, looking up at the stars perhaps.
The game's broadcasters stated the refs were just letting the rough play go by, but the Celtics, on short end of the stick, got only 17 foul shots to the Magic's 25. And moreso, the Magic kept complaining. Do they ever raise their hand for a foul?
Still, it was even more disgraceful how the broadcasters were even cheering for the Magic. They almost lost control when the Magic closed the gap to three. Mark Jensen, Mike Breen, and Jeff Van Grundy were shameful. So what was wrong with ESPN having the Magic coach's brother in the booth? Why not add Tom Heinsohn, the Celtic announcer?
Their continual babble never focused on missed fouls, unless it was for the Magic. There was even a ball that went out of bounds off the another Magic player, and was given back to Magic. Still not a peep.
Yet these announcers kept complaining about the missed calls on the Magic, but they didn't mention Howard's crashing foul against Ray Allen that was not called. They even complained when Pierce was given a 3 point foul that was verified by the referees on replay. Disturbing.
Indeed, the lack of fairness took away from the game as both the refs and announcers mostly praised the Magic until 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. And they never even questioned Perkins fifth foul, which clearly seemed to be on Pierce, because Perkins was near the sideline when the late whistle blew. They were too busy babbling.
However, the refs did get one right. Howard's elbow to Glen's Davis' face in the fourth quarter. Isn't there some rule about elbows that causes ejection?
Certainly, the game came close to an exciting finish when the refs decided to let'm play.Good choice. But the broadcasters were unhappy.
(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)