Thursday, May 21, 2009

Referees please!

I usually write off the refs as being pretty good or when they are bad as not being very bad - to the effect that I never thought refs would ALTER the course of a game/series. However, this year that opinion has changed drastically.

In the Bulls-Celtics series I was disgusted by all of what Rajon Rondo got away with. He went from an aggressive, physical player in the first game or two to being a violent player. Rondo split open Kirk Hinrich's eyebrow, knocked out some of Brad Miller's teeth and picked up where he left off with Hinrich by throwing him into the scorer's table. His foul on Miller came at a critical point of the game where Miller had to make free throws for the Bulls to stay in the game. Knocking Miller to the floor on a fast break that also knocked out his teeth did not even draw a flagrant foul (although replays showed Rondo hardly attempting to swat the ball). Furthermore Rondo's Hinrich/scorer's table incident further puzzled me. Replays showed Rondo blatantly dragging Hinrich backwards and then throwing him into the scorer's table - an incident that two years earlier resulted in a TWO GAME suspension for Robert Horry. Remember that this foul came after refs were supposedly going to watch Rondo with a closer eye after he bloodied two Bulls' starters. Why the different treatment? Why is the NBA inconsistent? Why are there different repercussions for different players? I'm not sure there is an answer. But Rondo should have a) fouled out of a game b) been suspended. So this series frustrated me by MISSING CALLS.

In the Lakers-Rockers series as well as the Lakers-Nuggets series the refs are nothing short of trigger happy - calling anything and everything a foul and being generous in heaping on technical fouls. Again, why the inconsistency? In particular it seems that in the Lakers-Nuggets series the refs have returned to being generous in what they allow as "defense" by the Nuggets (do not get me wrong, they play great defense but enough is enough) while being very harsh on the Lakers' stars when the Lakers try to play defense. It seems like if a Laker touches Chauncy Billups the ref is there to call a foul but if Kobe has a defender smacking him on the head and tripping him, he has to look up from the court as Denver moves the ball back down the court. And then Kobe asks a little to aggressively about the previous call and gets a technical. Hmmm. So this series frustrated me by MAKING CALLS.

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