So not to belabor a point, but even if this game was to be called evenly, which hasn’t been (the Celtics front line still haven’t been awarded a single clean block, and I still don’t recall a time when Gasol, Bynum, or Odom committed a foul while blocking a shot or had a goal tend; that’s impossible), but even allowing that that wasn’t going on, the way this series is being called is incredibly detrimental to the Celtics’ game.
Everything is a foul. Every touch. Is there a loose ball? Call a foul on the guy closest to the ball. Did someone stumble? Foul. Did Artest lock arms with Paul Pierce and drag him to the floor in the opening play of the game? Double technical. Did someone run into you while you were setting a pick? Foul. There were 52 fouls called in game 1. There were 58 fouls called in game 2. There are 23 fouls at halftime (but it would be much higher if the Lakers could commit fouls in this game; Boston has 14 and LA has 9, putting them on pace to be be 28 to 18).
In last year’s Finals there was not a single game with 50 fouls or more called. Boston plays tough basketball when they play well. They scrap. They cause turnovers and get offensive rebounds and deny post possession. Basketball is a contact sport. The way the whistles are blowing out there, it seems like the refs think this is t-ball. Any contact is too much contact. Boston can’t win this way. It’s not possible for them. They have to play away from all their strengths. And if the WC Finals had been officiated this closely, the Suns would be up 2-0 on Boston right now.
2nd half was a different story. Very uneven officiating. Two refs letting everything go, and one calling it close. Boston clawed back in by playing tough defense and getting points in transition, but it wasn’t enough.
Game basically ends on a flop by Gasol. Celtics have a massive brain-fart after Gasol’s soccerlike deathflop to a onehanded Garnett shove on a pick roll where he (Gasol) was never in position to effect the dribbler anyway turns the ball over; nobody stops the dribble which leads to a Fisher three point play. A 5 point lead with 39 seconds left, manageable, becomes a 7 point lead with 23 seconds left, insurmountable.
Ray Allen 0-13 from the field while Garnett had his best game of the last two series. They needed this one; once again 27 fouls on Boston and 20 on LA. Series over. Teams going up 2-1 after a 1 – 1 split in the 2-3-2 format finals have won 100% of the time.