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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 12, 2009 9:33 PM. The previous post in this blog was I'd pay to watch. The next post in this blog is Bio-default. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bad refs take another NBA playoff game

It happened again in tonight's crucial playoff game between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic. With 36 seconds to go in a close game, a Celtic shot an air ball, resulting in a 24-second shot clock violation. But the referees, who first called the violation, then changed their minds, ruling that the shot had grazed the rim. Video replays showed that no such thing happened. Orlando should have been handed the ball, but instead Boston got another chance, on which it capitalized. And with that went the game -- along with the series, probably.

Sure, the Magic could have pulled it out, even with the bad call. But their chances were greatly diminished. Now they trail Boston 3 games to 2, and they know they don't have the league's officials on their side.

Tonight's bozo crew: no. 13 Monty McCutchen, no. 22 Bill Spooner, and no. 24 Mike Callahan. As in so many NBA playoff games, they were either incompetent or biased.

Comments (22)

oh, you ain't seen nothing yet. nw that the game is in trash time and the starters benched, the Lakers-Rockets went like this:

Lakers FT attempts: 31
Rockets FT attempts: 13

that's right. Houston was apparently fouling almost three times as often as LA.

uh huh. you bet.

now, in trash time where they're up by 30+ and it don't matter, count on the refs to make a bunch of calls on the LA bench to make the numbers look less freakishly suspicious.

oh, and of course: Bennett Salvatore.

I exchanged several calls with a comedian in Orlando, Florida during that game and needless to say he had his nut sack torn off.

How does the Magic finish with a 17-3 Celtic run? That has to be a choke.

The kicker? The comedian's originally from Minnesota so he hates Stephon Marbury - the Celtic player that started the comeback.

I heard the percentage of 2-2 teams that win Game 5, and then go on to win the series is 84%. Ouch.

Lakers-Rockets:

Final free throw attempts:

Rockets: 16
Lakers: 36

after a while, the Rockets gave up. they started heaving up threes. they were called for breathing, for jogging, for stepping onto the court, for looking at the basket.

as near as I can tell, it might be one of the most lopsided foul calling jobs in playoff history.

I don't put much stock in comparative free throw attempts. Some teams, like the Blazers, never do anything that makes you want to foul them. If you're going to bomb away from 20 feet all night, you won't be shooting many foul shots.

I have said this before and I will repeat it, a disparity in foul shots is indicative of which team is driving the ball in the paint.

Of course there are external factors such as the referees and their past history with both teams, home court advantage where the discretionary foul calls (ie offensive fouls, traveling, etc) has been shown in academic studies to go the home team's way, and the MVP factor where the MVP gets at least 10 free throw attempts per game.

To prove a conspiracy or any argument, the burden of proof is on the accuser to provide the causal linkage.

As far as I see it, if you cannot prove causality, then all that remains is correlation and heavy doses of suspicion.

That is what conspiracy theories are, a whole bunch of correlations with absolutely zero causation or laughable causation at best.

I especially liked the part where the refs blew the 14-point lead for Orlando by seeing to it that Dwight Howard got one touch in the final five-and-a-half minutes.

Can't blame the Rockets loss on the refs.

The Rockets had 18 turnovers to the Lakers' 13, and the Lakers had 12(!) steals, which are crushers in the NBA because they lead to transition baskets. The refs didn't cause the Rockets to shoot a putrid 5-29 from the three-point line. You don't draw too many fouls jacking up treys.

I didn't see the Magic game, but it sounds hard to blame the refs for a 17-3 collapse.

Again, I'm not defending the refs, but the story should be about the players. If Dwight Howard is a first-team All-Star, how could he let his team collapse like that?

"... you cannot prove causality, then all that remains is correlation and ... is what conspiracy theories are."

The regular term is 'circumstantial evidence' -- and the conviction obtains in the rigged-game circumstance every time being presided over by the same referees. (And, NO, that's not what 'conspiracy' is; conspiracy is more than one person giving breath to the same words -- con- meaning 'together' and -spire meaning 'breath,' 'respiration' -- so the myth that 19 (or 20, counting Limbaugh) fanatical self-defeating zealots conducted Nine-Eleven Op is, YES, a 'conspiracy theory.'

------
"...a comedian in Orlando, Florida during that game ...."

I don't know, there's some reason 'comedian' and 'Orlando' don't belong in the same breath. Florida is NOT funny. Now, Kentucky -- that's funny.

And a true comedian in Minnesota would never leave the state ... with such a borgaschmorg (imagine the umlats) of good material with Al Franken.

They missed the 24-second call, but Orlando lost the recipe the last 5 minutes of the game, so I don't think it would've made a diff.

Which is too bad since I wanted to see LeBron vs. Howard in a series (not a straight matchup, but I am sure they would've covered each other a big % of the time.)

I have said this before and I will repeat it, a disparity in foul shots is indicative of which team is driving the ball in the paint.

Just under 70% of the Laker's points came from OUTSIDE the paint.

The Rockets had 18 turnovers to the Lakers' 13, and the Lakers had 12(!) steals, which are crushers in the NBA because they lead to transition baskets.

less than 60% of those "steals" were converted to baskets.

The refs didn't cause the Rockets to shoot a putrid 5-29 from the three-point line.

you see, those three-point attempts came later in the game--you might call them desperation shots, because the Rockets were so often getting called for fouls (on offense too). in other words, calling fouls early and often sets up the entire rest of the game.

You don't draw too many fouls jacking up treys.

Kobe drew two (almost three). not bad, considering Kobe only attempted *three* three-pointers.

Re Steve's "They missed the 24-second call, but Orlando lost the recipe the last 5 minutes of the game, so I don't think it would've made a diff."

I am advised that there is one shot of the shot, from above, which shows the ball taking a sudden dip down, which would suggest strongly that the pebbly orb had brushed the rim.

I am further advised that there were so many injudicious calls against the Cs earlier in the game that this ambiguous event cannot be indicted as causative in ORL's loss. Having viewed much of the game and the series, I concur with that observation.

Last night, Pierce was inhabited by Celtics past. Doc coached patiently and decisively; his players delivered in ways no one anticipated. The final six minutes of the game are now part of Garden lore.

I only hope the Cs can survive one more contest against Howard's lethal, unlicensed elbows. Unheralded Perkins has surprised experienced Cs' fans, as has cautious Scalabrini. Without KG and Powe, few gave the Cs any chance; yet warriors have emerged. One game, one quarter, one half-quarter at a time.

I think it was a bad call, but one bad call doesn't erase a 14 point lead. The Magic tightend up more than the repressed guy Chris Cooper played in American Beauty.

Like they always say, playing not to lose generally leads to losing.

Scalabrini - the poor man's Greg Kite.

I am advised that there is one shot of the shot, from above,

You are wrongly advised. There is no such shot. They blew the call.

I'll forward your unsupported assertion to the source, who sat near the C's bench during the contest and, living in Boston, had access to far more postgame analysis than TNT or Stumptown stations proffered.

Post a link to the supposed video or buzz off.

look at that game tonight:

Orlando free throw attempts: 31
Boston free throw attempts: 13

surely a fluke.

roughly two-thirds of Orlando points outside the key. fouls were not predominantly due to "driving the basket".

Omniscience and omnipresence are not human capacities. Referees are profoundly human.

Omniscience and omnipresence are not human capacities. Referees are profoundly human.

you're confusing perfection and consistency.

people are seeking consistency, not perfection. NBA referees are notoriously inconsistent. making mistakes while being inconsistent makes the ref a prime target for ridicule. making mistakes while being consistent does not.

But gosh, ecohuman, you're suggesting that it is perfectly okay not to learn from one's mistakes and that consistency is a primary value. Isn't there an old saw about consistency, hobgoblen, and mind?

Actually, I do fully intend the theological references: refs cannot know everything that happens on the court nor be everywhere that anything is happening. Neither can we rely on recording devices being everywhere and seeing everything. We may be approaching such capacity in, say, Yellowstone Park, but not in the Garden.

But gosh, ecohuman, you're suggesting that it is perfectly okay not to learn from one's mistakes and that consistency is a primary value.

really? then you've misunderstood. I've got the opposite view. but if you think that a a professional referee--many with 10+ years of NBA experience--hasn't had enough time to learn to be consistent in foul calling, I'm not sure how to explain.

Isn't there an old saw about consistency, hobgoblen, and mind?

no. Emerson said *foolish* consistency. read it in context, and you might see a bit more about what he was attempting to decry.


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