Celtics Can’t Hold It Together, Drop Game One In Miami

At halftime last night, Celtics fans had to have been encouraged, seeing their team trail only by two points. As the second half wore on, Boston had no answers for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The duo did whatever they wanted and laughed in the Celtics faces (literally) while doing it.

There is plenty of talk about the officiating, something a certain afternoon radio host will ridicule, but while clearly the Celtics did not lose the game because of officials, I don’t think anyone can deny that some of the calls made were at best head-scratching, and at worse, clearly part of an edict sent from above. They threw the Celtics off-stride, and likely took some of the wind out of their sails.

This CSNNE.com video has an interesting stat – in the postseason Miami Heat opponents have been called for 23 technical fouls. The Heat themselves have been called for 6.

Let’s review the five technicals called against the Celtics last night:

1) A call goes against Ray Allen, and he exclaims “No!” does a little hop, and turns and walks away. Technical Foul called from Danny Crawford.

2) After a made Celtics basket, Garnett taps the ball as it comes out of the basket – something that happens on nearly every made basket. Technical foul, delay of game. ( I always think its worse when a player tosses the ball to an official standing 30 feet away – that’s much more of a delay, but that’s perfectly OK.)

3) Doc Rivers upset with a lack of a call, shouts “C’mon Eddie!” at Referee Eddie Malloy. Technical foul.

4) Upset that Shane Battier boxed him out of bounds and into the basket stanchion, even after the play was over, Rondo pushes Battier off him. Technical foul. Malloy again.

5) Illegal defense, Technical foul.

Meanwhile, any complaining about calls results in Tweets like these from various media members:

[blackbirdpie id="207298337135788034"]

[blackbirdpie id="207299650133303297"]

Is this David Stern’s legacy as commissioner of the NBA? He’s been in charge during so many great moments, in the last 30 years, but these days there are many who view the NBA as joke, mostly because of the officials, and the perception that much of what happens in the NBA is, if not straight-out fixed, at least nudged in a certain direction. There appears to be no inclination to improve the quality of the officiating.

[blackbirdpie id="207302509453254656"]

Yes, Celtics lost because they couldn’t score, and they couldn’t stop Miami. That’s not open to debate. What’s also not open to debate is the fact that the officiating in the NBA is incompetent, and that reflects on the man in charge of the league.

One last thing as you prepare for the inevitable ridicule against the “green-teamers” this afternoon. Keep in mind that the guy who is mocking Celtics fans for complaining about the officiating, is one who has stated numerous times in recent weeks that the NBA is fixed.

Meanwhile, who is the voice of reason?

Stephen A Smith talking sense? Yup.

Get all the Celtics coverage today at CelticsLinks.com.

Don’t get me started on Mike Breen…

  • tl;138

    So by John Hollinger’s logic, if your team has won a lot of championships you can’t complain about the officiating even if the officiating is suspect?  That makes no sense.

  • classless

    A low point in Celtics history, being clowned by the officials, the refs, and the Miami Heat. Nothing but a game 2 win will cleanse that taste.

  • latetodinner

    Bruce…I think Felger’s point, which I agree with, is the NBA is a step away from being the WWE.  Last nights game did nothing to dissuade me of that opinion.  All the Celts lousy first and forth quarter offense did was help the story along.  The fouls were about even 21 Miami – 19 Boston.  It was the T’s that were off…5-1 Boston and I am not sure any of the 6 were deserved.  Miami was never really threatened even after the second quarter barrage.  They were supposed to win and they did.

    David Stern has made NBA owners a ton of money over the last 30 years.  He has also chased fans like me away from the game. Even when I want to watch (or in my case listen while driving home from the cape after traffic) it is virtually impossible.  There is no flow, consistency or pace to the game….the lousy feed from Miami which basically wiped out the first 20 minutes of the radio feed did not help either.

    • Bruce

      How is that different from what I said? My point is, if Felger is saying the NBA is like the WWE, meaning that things are staged to help the predetermined storyline along, how can he also get on Celtics fans for complaining about the officiating? He’s admitting that he thinks calls and so forth are purposefully made or not made. Yet he makes fun of Celtics fans for pointing that out?

    • Mishnorv7

      What I am going to hate  with Felger is that he’s not going to talk about what Paul Flannery just mentioned on Twitter, the fact that the Celtics lost the game because they shot 38% but he will lead you more into the argument that there’s something fishy about the NBA. God forbid he would spend time on freethrow and field gold percentages. That would involve show preparation and where basketball is concerned and he’s not going there. Enjoy predictable radio on 98.5 from 2-6 you guys.

      • latetodinner

        I think you are absolutely right in being annoyed by that fact. He will take the lazy way out. Its why I can’t stand listening to hoop talk on the radio.

  • andy

    Bruce

    Agree on Breen.  Watched the game without sound and while I didn’t like the outcome, I enjoyed the loss in silence.  As for officials, it started to go downhill once they went to three officials.  Sorry, but I have been around long enough to remember when they only had two officials and it was a much better game.  Like any expansion, you do dilute the talent. 

    As for Hollinger, one of the biggest complainers regarding officiating was Phil Jackson.  I guess his championships make him immune from criticizing the officiating. 

    Finally, regarding Felger, no basketball fan will take anything he says seriously.  

    • J.R.

      Totally agree with your sentiments that things with the NBA officials started to really go into the dumper when they added the third ref.  It wasn’t always that great with two, quite frankly, but ever since the third zebra came onto the scene you now have three jamokes and/or outsized egos trying to prove their worth and say “look at me.” 

      Also, the coddling of superstars with regards to NOT calling fouls on them –  which ALWAYS get called on veteran stiffs and rookies — is also appalling for an alleged “major league.”  Traveling is traveling, whether your name is LeBron, Kobe, or Greg Stiemsma, so call it accordingly.

      Having said all of the above, the officiating did not cost the Celtics the game last night. 

      As has been the case for pretty much most of the regular and post-season, curiously indifferent play (how many more times are we going to see a loose ball or rebound surrounded by four Celtics only to see a single opponent beat all four to the ball??), infuriating inconsistent and stubborn play by Rondo (walk the ball up, dribble, dribble some more, still dribble, and then be forced to take a very low percentage shot because there’s only three seconds left on the 24-second clock), and Doc’s total reluctance to play any more than eight guys (he only gave Bradley more minutes in March because he was forced to; otherwise he’d still be stapled to the bench) aren’t helping the cause much either.

      • andy

         Last night’s loss occurred because of 1) horrible shooting; and 2) once again they got destroyed off the boards.    

        Regarding Doc, he has got to start trusting young players during the regular season. Not only agree on Bradley, but I feel he should have incorporated E’ Twaun Moore into the rotation during the season.  When he did get a chance to play, I felt he could both shoot and also get his own shot, which is something this team lacks, especially with Pierce ailing.

        • Johnkelley98

          So he was supposed to play Bradley and Moore? Who is supposed to sit while that happens? Rondo?

  • bsmfan

    7 minutes in. Jermaine Wiggens is reading a letter he’s apparently sending to “Donald Sterling” .. I mean “Don Stern” .. a.k.a. the Donald
    (I think he mixed up Donald Sterling with Donald Stern –which is a pretty big mistake but also the both could go hand-in-hand on many contexts).

    Felger joked, “Wiggy, you got spell check on that?” One would hope he does because I’d imagine you need it quite a bit

    Are we like 6 years-old when our 2nd grade teacher gives us pen pals or we write imaginary letters to some politician because he visited the office?

    Beyond getting the name wrong and sounding like a complete idiot, Jermaine is someone who gives all Celtic fans a bad name.

    Unfortunately, the Green Teamers are out in full force today and making a mockery of themselves.

    Dear WBZ/SportsHub, please stop having Wiggens on. He’s horrible.

    The T’s were bad last night but they didn’t cost us the game.

    Now, lets go into some hypotheticals here. If you looked at what @tvsportsratings (before the person disappeared) put out, the Heat were the best for ratings this year. I think the Lakers were #2 and the Knicks #3. The Celtics, if they were a featured opponent, were usually somewhere in the 5-10 range (national draw). I don’t have the exact numbers here but it comes as no surprise that the NBA would want the Heat going up against markets in the 30s/40s OKC/SAC. If the Celtics were healthy, I don’t think they would survive close calls or 50/50 games, which would end up costing them the series. This is my conspiracy theory here.

    SAS was the voice of reason because I think he respects the game. It’s almost a joke when he’s on debating Skip Felger on First Take. Unfortunately, becuase his role on here increased and I think ESPN realized they need someone to go against Skip Felger in their LeBron debates, Screamin A Smith had to get closer (and sell-out like Chris Broussard did). So, it can be hard to listen to him, because he’s got to be LeBron’s proxy on FT since he won’t go on the show.

    • HighWireNickEsasky

      David Stern, you mean?

      • bsmfan

        At first, he got it wrong–I think because he got it wrong. The second time, he was trying to “tell a joke” but didn’t really set it up or reference it right for it to work.

        It was only upon Felger/Mazz asking him about it where I got why he said “Don” as in “The Don” like a Mafia.

        I could be completely wrong here because understanding Wiggens takes some serious effort.

        Looks like Brady did a parody video that is making rounds on the sports sites:

        Tom Brady stars in new Funny or Die short – http://bo.st/LbwdLy

        And, news breaking from friend-of-Valentine:
        @karlravechespn: Punto in lineup for red sox, nothing official yet but hearing Pedroia to miss a month”

  • bsmfan

    The video with these sentiments is gone and I cannot find another link to it on ESPN. Now, ESPN’s search engine tends to never get me proper results, so it could be a result of searching.

    However, ESPN is no fool when it comes to social media and know to post segments/clips that are likely to be posted anyways on the web, esp when they have a “featured” person or someone they’re trying to promote. SAS is one of them.

    Go to YouTube, along with their ESPN channel.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=videos&search_query=stephen+a+smith&search_sort=video_date_uploadedtual

    ESPN get a call from the NBA on this one?

    • Guest

      The video included in the post was from ESPN.com, however it is no longer available anywhere on the site. Pretty obvious either the NBA league office placed a phone call or the ESPN proactively made the call to pull it themselves.

      ESPN did something similar two years ago after an unflattering story about a night in Vegas with LeBron and his crew was posted. It was pulled off the web within hours and ESPN tried to act like it never existed.  At the time ESPN was being ridiculed for their numerous obvious conflicts of interest with the athletes they cover, best exemplified by “The Decision” debacle,
      so it was in their best business interest to limit any further LeBron PR fallout. When they got called out on it, they fumbled through some half-assed excuse that the story was never supposed to see the light of day since it was an unedited draft that was “accidentally” uploaded to the site.

      Full story link below if interested:
      http://www.aolnews.com/2010/07/28/espn-pulls-story-showing-lebron-james-in-full-party-mode/

  • Shall14

    The referees weren’t the reason the Celtics lost, but it was so bad that it undermines the league’s credibility yet again. This article does a good job driving home that point. http://98ontheblack.com/2012/05/29/the-nba-where-fans-come-to-watch-the-refs-play/

  • Donald Sterns

    Crooked NBA officiating is like pornography: you can’t define it, but you know it when you see it.

  • toncy66

    The Celts wouldn’t have won the other night even if the officiating had been decent. That said, this has been a problem in the NBA for a very, very long time, and it seems to have gotten even worse over the last decade-plus, starting with Stern’s striped-shirted assassins stealing away Sacramento’s NBA title and handing it to the Lakers in 2002 (don’t you know that a New Jersey/Sacramento NBA Finals would have had lousy TV ratings!!). Let’s not forget Stern’s arch-enemy, Mark Cuban, being forced to wait 5 years for his first title after the officials single-handedly defeated his Mavericks in the last 4 games of the 2006 Finals. Don’t even get me started on the fourth quarter of Game 7 in 2010, when the officials began calling a completely different game than the one they’d called in the first three quarters, and put the Lakers on the line 18 times in 12 minutes.

    I agree that part of it is the third official. I don’t remember the officiating being this bad when there were just 2 refs out there. A bigger part is revenue, let’s face it. The NFL draws millions of TV viewers even if they present a Jacksonville/Atlanta Super Bowl to the masses; the NBA needs the Lakers, Knicks, or, failing that, they need their biggest stars playing on their biggest stage in order to keep people in front of their TV sets on an otherwise perfect June evening. (Jordan’s Bulls always….ALWAYS got the benefit of the doubt from the officials whenever they were in trouble in a big post-season game.)

    I won’t go full-on conspiracy theorist and say that Stern is dictating certain results–like Vince McMahon–from on high. However, I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that the officials with the biggest reputation for “steering” games in a certain direction are assigned to ref particular playoff games (remember Game 3 in LA in 2008 after the C’s had squashed the Lakers twice in Boston—the league assigned two of the most “pro-home team” officials on its roster to officiate Game 3, and the Lakers had attempted 10 free throws to Boston’s zero halfway through the first quarter).

    It’s a problem, and only a new commissioner can solve it.

  • NEPatsfan

    The NBA referee bashing has gotten way out of control. Sure, they miss calls. I have watched probably 80% of the playoff games this year and only 1 outcome was seriously affected by poor officiating or a bad call. This was the Celtics closeout win vs Atlanta when Horford got fould before the ball was inbounded and should have had one FT and the ball back. The officiating “crisis” is way overblown. Every fan in every city thinks their team is getting screwed. Doc even said it on Felger & Mazz yesterday. When he was announcing games, every city thought there was a conspiracy against their team.

    It is so overblown, it’s such a sorry built in excuse. The Celtics got manhandled in the 2nd half (a half in which they took more FTs and had fewer fouls than Miami). It’s a non-story.

    • Bruce

      Reading comprehension is not a strong point for you, eh?

      I think everyone here has gone out of their way to say that the officials had nothing to do with the outcome of that game.

      It doesn’t make those calls any less atrocious and embarrassing to the NBA. If you’re OK with them, that’s fine. It’s definitely not a non-story when it’s being talked about on a national level.

%d bloggers like this: