NBA Playoffs: Referees, put your whistles in your pocket


Dan Crawford
NBA ref Dan Crawford called two of the technical fouls last night.

This is the second time now that I have had to write about the referees in the playoffs. And again, it’s about their lack of judgment during a game. What happened last night was an absolute atrocity. During Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, Boston was called for three (yes, I said “three”) technical fouls in the second quarter. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and head coach Doc Rivers were called for technical fouls. And all these techs have something in common: it was completely unnecessary. If you didn’t catch the game last night, it was probably a good thing. Not only was it a predictable outcome but also the officiating was downright terrible. When will referees understand that the people who pay money to go to these games pay money to see the players play, not officials officiate?

The first technical of the night was issued to Allen, a man who, in his 16 year career, has 21 total technical fouls. Long-time veteran official Dan Crawford t-ed him up after he was called for a foul on Miami’s Dwyane Wade, a questionable foul call to say the least. Allen reacted by jumping up in the air and, then, walked away. But he still got t-ed up.

The second tech came against Garnett. After Rajon Rondo grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it up off the glass for two points, Garnett was standing there and tapped the ball after it came through the hoop. That’s a play that happens a lot in the game of basketball. It’s a way of buying time for your team to get back on defense. Now, Boston had gotten a delay of game warning earlier in the game and it might have had something to do with this technical foul being called. But there is still no reason for a technical foul to be given. Plus the person sitting to the right of the basket hit the ball back to Ronny Turiaf, hence no delay-of-game.

The third technical was assessed to Rivers. After Rondo scored on a layup, Rivers said something to the official nearest him as he was heading back down the sidelines. Whatever he said, the ref didn’t like it. I believe he said “You gotta call a foul” or “We gotta get a call, sometime.” I don’t know what he said exactly, but it was bad enough to call for him a T.

Here is a YouTube video of all three technical fouls. Just click here.

I don’t understand why NBA officials try to be a bigger part of the game than they actually are. They are taking the emotion out of the game when they keep issuing stupid, pointless technical fouls. You don’t want players walking around on egg shells, do you? Oh, I almost forgot. There was a fourth technical foul on Rondo that took place in the second half. After Boston scored, Rondo was tied-up with Shane Battier and Rondo gave him a little push and then was T-ed up. That’s a borderline call. I don’t think you call a technical foul in that case because Rondo didn’t do anything atrocious and nobody got hurt. If anything, it could have been a foul called on Rondo, but not a technical foul.

Another thing is how come Wade and LeBron James are never T-ed up? They complain more than any other two players in the league and I rarely see them called for technicals or personal fouls! They get away with everything, but when a veteran team like Boston wants to play physical or show some emotion, they get the short end of the stick. What sense does that make? Refs need to start putting their whistles away because they have not been doing a good job this postseason. The Miami-Indiana and Memphis-Los Angeles series’ were very poorly officiated. I think it’s time the league started taking action on its own officials and every call that was made during a game is reviewed by the league and an official is fined for every bad call he made during that game. Mostly fines would probably come on bad technical fouls or rewarding a player for flopping.

The league needs to clean this mess up and it starts with the officials putting their whistles away.

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