It's nothing new, just more obvious then ever in this NBA Finals: almost every possession includes some kind of foul.
Defensive three-seconds. Reach-in. Over-the-back. Blocking.
Whether you're a fervent Kobe Bryant or Paul Pierce fan, a zealous Lakers or Celtics supporter, or simply a wide-eyed spectator engaging in a thrilling basketball duel, you have to admit outrageous fouls called on both sides have made this a tough series to watch.
I've always been a firm believer that the referees should never be blamed for the outcome of a sporting event.
However, some players, like the Celtic's power forward Rasheed Wallace, make their feelings clear about the ref's calls.
While some consider Rasheed an "animated" player, I think he should swap nicknames with Glen Davis. Wallace truly deserves the title "Big-Baby" for every time a foul is called on him and he gallops across court with an incredulous expression on his face.
Similarly, when Lakers guard Derek Fisher tumbles to the ground for his 37th time in the 1st quarter, he has solidified his nomination for "Best Flopper."
The 2010 NBA Finals have left me and countless fans dumb-founded by the insane number of unreasonable fouls.
If you are lucky enough to be at the big show, nosebleeds or courtside, or perhaps just lounging in your living room watching the game, the slow-motion replay has been the ultimate revealer of truth.
Spectators have had to watch unwarranted fouls ruin a player's rhythm and missed calls completely change the momentum of a quarter.
You may be thinking to yourself, what's new?
Well, in the finals, more than any other time of the basketball season, the refs need to let the players play.
It's a simple idea, but one that has become strangely skewed by a need to enforce a sense of regulation over the game.
However, it's not benefitting the players. It's frustrating them.
It's not enhancing the experience of viewers, but instead irritating them.
Maybe the referees need to be more strictly regulated instead of being given the role of Pharoahs of the basketball court, making decrees left and right.
For example, Ray Allen and Derek Fisher were violently fighting for position throughout last night's battle. On one play specifically, Allen got the ball in the post and ruthlessly pounded his shoulder into Fisher, who was thrown to the floor, giving Allen an open bank shot.
No foul called.
I watched the game with both Lakers and Celtics fans and each judged the fairness of play according to their bias.
Celtics fans applauded Allen for being aggressive, while laughing at Fisher's ridiculous attempt to get a foul called.
Lakers fans yelled at Allen's harsh play and empathized for Fisher, who they believed played solid defense.
In this kind of dramatic, emotionally-charged series the referees need to establish a blueprint, or stable framework, for determining fouls they can adhere to.
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