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Joe Crawford: A+
Joe Crawford is one of my least favorite referees. Maybe it's because of his close ties to the game-fixing scandal or terrible calls like this one.
But yesterday's game increased my animosity towards him. He was on his game and certainly partly to blame fort he loss. He called possibly two of the worst technical fouls I have ever seen.
First, one on Pavlovic for getting elbowed by Carmelo, then one on Jermaine O'Neal for reaching up towards the net during a break in play, I think. In a close game like this one, two free throws and possessions on bad calls can be costly.
I admit that Crawford called a bad technical on the Knicks too, but not quite as bad as the ones on the Celtics. Then he chose to swallow his whistle at the end of the game during a scrum underneath the basket, and on a series of put-back attempts by the Celtics, then called a very questionable reach-in foul on Marquis Daniels on the other end.
I hate to blame anyone other than the players for losses because it's the players that play, but Joe Crawford always likes to make it about more than the players. And although he didn't necessarily cause the loss, he certainly didn't do the Celtics any favors.