A Non-Boston Perspective

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Since the site seems to sorely need it.  AHEM.

Both the Lakers and Celtics took 24 free throws in the last night’s game 3 victory for the Lakers.  The Lakers went 21-24 and Boston went 15-24.  The reason Boston is not getting clean blocks is because their center and backup center are two inches shorter than their L.A. counterparts. Also, Boston has decided that there will be no easy buckets.  Boston’s fouls are by design.  That leads to fouls around the rim.  The Lakers have responded appropriately by attacking the basket.  Furthermore, officiating goes both ways.  Take, for example, Rajon Rondo clearly fouling Lamar Odom near the end of the game on a rebound.  The refs called it out of bounds to Boston.  They reviewed the played, which showed Rondo smacking Odom on the right wrist, which caused him to lose control of the ball.  Boston ball.

Boston’s problem has not been the refs.  They had the same measure of fouls in the previous series versus Orlando, and won decisively because their defense stifled Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis.  Boston’s problem has been their defense does not seem to have the same effect on Pau Gasol, the game’s best big man, and Kobe Bryant, the game’s best guard.  Boston’s problem has been the performances of their starting lineups.  They cannot get Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen to shoot well on the same night.  Pierce appears to be worn down, and the hounding he is getting from Artest is not helping.  Garnett and Allen are alternating great shooting performances, and it is killing the Celtics not to get it on the same night.  Even a 40% shooting performance from Allen would’ve clinched Game 3.

The Finals put a microscope on everything, so it’s good to step back.  Boston has not played at their peak, and still took a game in L.A.  They came back and barely lost Game 3, despite a zero point performance from Ray Allen and not much more from Paul Pierce.  It’s only 2-1.  There’s at least 2 more games to watch and decide whether the refs or better use of match-ups, better shooting performances, shot selection, and defensive strategies is what makes a champion.

Psssst, it’s NOT the refs (except when it is – jp).

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5 Responses to “A Non-Boston Perspective”

  1. jpalumbo Says:

    See the refs agree with you completely. When you’re 7 feet tall it’s a clean block even when it isn’t, and when you’re not it’s a foul, even when it isn’t. So the clean blocks Big Baby and Pierce got weren’t clean, even though they looked clean to me and JVG and Mark Jackson. I’m not saying there’s ref bias or league bias. I just think things fell out that way and probably because on questionable calls like that the refs anticipate shorter players fouling and taller players blocking shots. Boston was called for more than 1/3rd more total fouls in game 3. 24 – 24 free throws does not mean the officiating was right down the middle. Unless you think unforced turnovers and players having to miss time due to foul trouble don’t impact the game.

    Did Boston do enough to win last night? Probably not. They missed too many free throws, and their best shooter was completely inept. Does that mean the refs played no part and that having Allen (game 1), Garnett (games 2 & 3) and Pierce (games 1 & 3) all have five fouls hampering them hasn’t been a crucial factor? That’s all I’ll say. Until tomorrow night. When we get every call, and I praise the refs for their unbiased and superb work. I’m like the Fox News of NBA officiating. No spin zone!

    • pmadavi Says:

      You know, being shorter than your opponent is actually bad in basketball. It makes it hard to block shots. It makes it hard to contest shots. And it makes it more likely that you foul them when you are reaching for the ball.

  2. High Above Courtside Says:

    According to multiple sources with knowledge of the encounter, Jim Pallotta, angry at the officiating that included three reviewed calls in the fourth quarter, confronted Stern and apparently said the league should be embarrassed at the officiating in the series.

    Pallotta maybe be facing disciplinary action from Stern

    Doc Rivers has sent video of 13 different plays from game three to the league office for their review.

    “The Boston Globe 6-10-10”

  3. pmadavi Says:

    I’m down with Inside Hoops take:

    http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=6023

  4. High Above Courtside Says:

    It is getting worse, Ed F Rush will be refereeing tonight.

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