Thursday, May 28, 2009


Great BS article on the terrible officiating in these NBA playoffs -

This was one of the bigger moments in recent NBA history: The time when our latest hope for "The Next Jordan" actually did something MJ would have done. Like so many other die-hards, I spent the next 24 hours rehashing the moment through phone calls and e-mails and texts. This wasn't about hype, or blowing things out of proportion, or racing to put the proper context in place before everything else. This was just a beautiful moment, one of those nights that made us remember why we waste so much time following sports.

Two nights later, Cleveland and Orlando played an unspeakably awful game that featured a whopping 58 fouls. All the momentum from Game 2 was gone. Here was the new NBA in its new age of unadulterated impurity: Teams hoisting bad 3-pointers, referees trying to "manage" the game and failing, players going one-on-five, stoppages again and again and again, free throws and more free throws, more stoppages, more mismanaging by the refs ... by the time it was over, I wanted to commit a flagrant one on myself. The two teams combined to attempt 96 2-point field goals, 43 3-pointers and a staggering 86 free throws. In other words, there were nearly nine free throws for every 10 2-point field goal attempts. Egads. The next night, Los Angeles and Denver combined to play a similarly brutal game: 113 2-point attempts, 55 3-pointers, 84 free throws. Yuck.

You might argue this happens every playoffs: We bitch about bad calls or choppy games and nothing ever changes. But this spring feels different for two reasons. First, the NBA can't seem to replenish its officiating ranks. 1937, 1939, 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1955 ... those are the actual birth years of 13 current referees. In professional sports, athletes slip from the ages of 34 to 39 unless they extend their stay with PEDs. In the NBA, in which officials are required to run or jog for 150 minutes and make split-second decisions on hundreds of plays, we're expected to believe that the aging process doesn't apply. And if you believe that, I have some Bernie Madoff stock tips for you.

Long list of players are available this summer.

Mock draft ... do you like the Bulls' projected picks?

Draft prospects in working out Chicago.


DC said...

I read Simmons' article and agree with many of the points/ideas he brought up. I think we all can agree that the game is called very differently than it was in the 80s/early 90s. I think the game suffers for it...especially his example about players barreling towards the basket (*cough* LeBron) at the ends of games and expecting the refs to bail them out. It's infuriating to watch. Watching the 03 Finals I was sickened by the treatment Dwyane Wade was receiving.

However, the idea Van Gundy presented of a "penalty box" in lieu of flagrant/technical fouls wouldn't work. The pessimist in me sees that leading to "strategies" where an unimportant player from Team A constantly goes after and seeks out confrontations with the star from Team B to get him off the court for 5 minutes of gameplay. The player from Team A would be on the bench for those minutes regardless so there becomes this inequality in punishment for Team B. Doesn't work for me. Instead, just call the game like it's being played by adult males instead of 12 year old girls. Every confrontation doesn't require a flagrant or a technical. Fans don't pay to see refs blow their whistles, and I think they need to be reminded.

DC said...

Also, as long as the name "Hansbrough" isn't read for a Bulls pick I'll be OK with it.

2j said...

The way JVG presented was slightly different than the current iteration from BS.

SVG thought of it more as a "substitute for suspensions" ... meaning that it is arbitrary to assign a 1-game suspension for acts that are on completely different levels (and assuming the league would never suspend a player for 2 playoff games).

His suggestion was more that the Rafer slap of Eddie House would not warrant the same 1-game suspension as the Derek Fisher premeditated-shoulder-block against the Rockets. So rather than making suspensions black-and-white, one-game-or-nothing ... he suggested that a suspension might be 1 quarter or 1 half. Simmons morphed it into an in-game penalty box ... which, as you said, would not work.

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