Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  99 responses

Did Game 4 Refs Favor Bulls?

Well, Chicago blew it at the line anyway.

by Marcel Mutoni

The Bulls-Celtics series is clearly the best and most exciting First Round matchup going. Three of the four games have been classics.

According to some in the Beantown media, however, the Bulls have given the Celtics all they can handle due to more than just great basketball.

The Boston Globe has a “source” claiming that two of the referees who worked Game 4 may have been on the Bulls’ side of things:

An NBA source pointed out before the game that two of the referees were Chicago natives (Bill Kennedy and Dan Crawford). Kennedy also was involved in an incident with Rivers during the Bulls’ St. Patrick’s Day win in which both were fined by the league for jawing.

The source also said that after the game family members of both referees departed wearing Bulls gear.

It’s a throwaway item at the end of the column, sure, but the implication is clear.

Should the Baby Bulls dethrone the defending champs, I can’t wait to see what other excuses (and conspiracy theories) the hoops scribes in Boston manage to come up with.

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  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com B. Long


  • jamesPH

    C’mon celtics writers, just enjoy the game… its not like its lakers/sacto part dos.. by the way FIRST!

  • Trevor

    The refs were biased towards the Bulls throughout the whole game. Fouling Perkins out with that stupid trip…the clear path foul…Pierce couldn’t get a call to save his life the whole game and they called a foul on him when he cleanly stole the inbound pass. Celts still should’ve won but hopefully they win the next 2 and get this over with

  • http://www.droseroy.com airs

    oh helllllll no
    real classy, boston. the first 2 games, the refs heavily favored the celtics and we got no calls at all.
    this is just ridiculous.
    bulls in 6.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Anyone familier with the Boston Globe should find no surprise in this.

  • Zabba

    Celts dethroned by the Bulls. In 6.

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4073024 neaorin

    here we go…

  • Prison Mike

    The refs didn’t call a perfect game? No way!

  • Clockwork

    Bill Simmons is gonna be crying about this in any moment now…

    Go Bulls

  • Erika Badu

    oh gawwwd. Celtics fans are the biggest whiners in the world – not unlike the whole team and Doc Rivers. If Paul Pierce gets one more free throw from that stupid move where he drives the lane and then whips his head back for no reason like it is on a leash I’m going to kill myself. Go Bulls!

  • rikson

    Its not about the “perfect” game – its about the fairest game thats possible!!! And that was NOT the case…

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYa5u-lPS8c MooButter

    Constantly whining. How about Noah’s ridiculously clean block at the end of game 1 or the ball pierce finger rolled out of bounds that was given back to the Celtics. They didn’t become an issue because the Bulls still pulled out the victory despite more than just the Celtics defense stacked up against them. Pierce threw himself at the defenders under the basket all game. He didn’t deserve to go the freethrow line on a lot of the calls he whined about not getting.

  • rikson

    But thats just another day in the NBA – nobody will care…

  • Diesel

    How about actually looking at the calls that took place during the game and make your decision based on that. And Trevor you said Pierce couldn’t get a call??? Did you actually watch the game? This has been a good series, let’s not taint it by crying about the refs.

  • Diesel

    rickson – what exactly was unfair about yesterday’s officating? Are you trying to say that Perkins wasn’t moving on all those screens? because he absolutely was. If anything I thouhgt the refs were pretty fair in not calling a flagrant on Big Baby and his foul on Miller.

  • rikson

    Pierce had a bad shooting day, so he was trying to get to line. Well – he couldnt get a call – and there were some obvious fouls!

  • rikson

    I can remember a drive by pierce ( I think it was the 3rd quarter). One could clearly see that he was fouled on hte arm by Noah and Thomas…

  • Diesel

    Lets get serious here Celtics fans. If you guys don’t see that as the defending champs, you guys are indeed getting favorable reffing, your crazy. Not to mention that you have 2 full fledged stars on your team that NBA officiating is notorious for protecting. rickson I can also rememeber a call yesterday where Pierce caught a ball in the air and landed on BG’s shoulder and they gave BG the foul. Ref’s make bad calls, but I don’t think there was an obvious horrible call yesterday at all.

  • http://www.broy7.com nate the great

    mhmm, bulls in 6

  • Joe A

    The reffing has been horrible for both teams, but the Celtics are getting the worst of it. For the Most part though the better team has one each game (except yesterday)But it is hard to complain even as a Celtics fan because the games have been so good.

  • riggs

    paul pierce isnt getting any calls that he usually gets in this series, and the C’s are being heavily scrutinized on the defensive end.

  • Fat Lever

    To even it out, Tyrus Thomas has been making boneheaded plays to do everything to give the game back to the Celts, but the Globe doesn’t mention that.

  • Diesel

    Refs make bad calls, but I think they even out in the long run. Rose has got some foul calls on clean blocks of rondo. Noah got a foul call on a clean block of Allen at the end of game 1. There’s going to be bad calls both ways.

  • Diesel

    Hahah Fat – when I saw him bringing the ball up the court because he wanted to be the one to get fouled and take the free throws I was losing my mind. Thomas and Gordon on the same team is 2 too many selfish players.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    no. For example, Kirk Hindrich was CLEARLY FOULED by Ray Allen after he grabbed a rebound at towards the end of the 1st 0T, the refs saw it, did not call it, the the ball got into the hands of Big Baby in a matter of seconds (he collected the ball after Hindrich lost it) and a foul was called even though it was just minimal contact. STOP MAKING EXCUSES STOP MAKING EXCUSES STOP MAKING EXCUSES

  • Joe

    For being the most recent Finals MVP, Paul Pierce is not getting any respect from the refs, that usually happens to former Finals MVP’s….THe refs have not treated Pierce the right way

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Did anyone watch the Finals?

  • Diesel

    It looks like both sides can point out missed calls. But for the Globe to basically write a story accusing the refs of cheating because they’re from Chicago??? After a game where I have heard no one else in the media or on either team complaiing about the reffing? Call me crazy, but its almost liek the Globe is prinitng ridiculous -shock value- articles just to sell papers and save a dying media. They wouldn’t do that would they?

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Diesel: you’re wrong. The globe has been doing this crap since before newspapers were dying.

  • Coach Master

    Some bad calls but right call was made when it counted, when refs reversed on Miller. Big Baby has a career in acting.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    With the way Miller and Big Z have man-handled Glen Davis this season, dude is going to be having nightmares about white people for the rest of his career. Reverse Shawn Bradley syndrome, you could say.

  • cdef28

    Trevor Perkins fouled out because of dumb fouls. You would know that if you knew basketball.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Jukai is right. The Boston Globe has no semblance of journalistic integrity when it comes to sports reporting. Guess what? Boston fans don’t have integrity either! It works out!

  • Tommy Patron

    Both teams played hard.

  • BBallrehab

    D Rose maturity is sick for a rookie, he really acts like a veteran in the money time, always making the right choices. Can’t wait for game 5, go Bulls! Oh, and Scalabrine looked like a joke with his headband on.

  • Jumpman3224

    Yeah I thought that was cheap whenever the refs made Pierce miss that shot to tie at the end. Get over it Boston.

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    There’s no crying in basketball!

  • BostonBaller

    To Mo Charlo & airs, I’d like to you how many comments on here or other SLAM articles have you read from Celtics fans complaining about the refs this series. (You can’t count the 1 fan who is a band wagon jumper and doesn’t know the sport) To call Boston fans whiners is a bit ridiculous in and of itself. Guys sound more like whiners when they whine about phantom whiners. lol. Yes the Globe was stupid but no more so than any other cities’ media. The games have been great and yesterdays game should have ended before the BG 3. (A simple foul before BG got the ball Defensive lapse…) Then Pierce dribbled off his leg and turned it over which cost us dearly. Then there was Rondo pulling up for a jumper instead of driving the lane like instructed. I couldn’t care less where the refs live or who their families root for. If the refs are from Chi then the families just might be from Chi and are just supporting the home team.

  • BostonBaller

    BTW,those who said we were dead before the playoffs and could’nt wait to write I told you so’s and throw the dirt on our grave are now nit picking…lol. Let’s sit back and enjoy these games. As a C’s fan I want to win the next 2 and get it over with. As a bball fan I want it to go to 7 games and 3 ot’s. I wish all series went 7 games

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    BostonBaller: I co-sign everything except for the Globe part. The Globe is far worse than any media outlet in existance, save maybe the New York Post.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    This is wack.
    So wack.
    The Celtics lost because they have no big men and Ray Allen is old.
    And Ben Gordon wants a big contract.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    Guys, you know I’m a Celtics fan. I like to say that I’m unbiased as well in my commenting. But this is somewhat justified, IMHO. Pierce got fouled numerous times and didn’t get a call. Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and the other dude agreed with me, too.

  • Jake

    The fact is,no matter which side the refs supposedly “favored” not everyone is going to be thrilled by the outcome of the series.I for one will be throwing a party if Chi town’s finest upsets Boston.P.S. the Boston Globe sports reporters should be given the same amount of credibility as one from the National Enquirer.All they do is sit around and think of ways to make Kendrick Perkins sound like the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain and make Kobe Bryant out to be Satan in basketball shoes.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    BostonBaller, thank you. However, some (most) of your compatriots don’t share your careful eye or respect for the game. I didn’t mean to generalize, and you certainly are the exception that proves the rule.

  • Superman Osman

    Perkins promises that the refs who suit up with Bulls accesorries will never ref a game like that again

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Moose, hinrich also got clearly fouled on his putback and that would have been a great time to give the bulls a shot if the refs truly were on their side, yet it wasnt called. So i dont know..

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Lost in all this is the coming out party of rajon rondo. He looks like the best player on the floor most nights. And paul pierce is an underground flopper.

  • jrb

    F*ck the celtics

  • http://myspace.com/mavus15 Mavus

    Get out of here… Paul Pierce is getting touch fouls!!!!! Rose is getting hacked every time he goes to the rim – no whistle!

  • http://myspace.com/mavus15 Mavus

    Matter of fact… you can say that the refs have saved Boston in 3 of the games, keeping the game close with free throws.. cause Boston scoring has slumped off in the 3rd quarter in 3 games!!!

  • slamfan4life

    like this didn’t happen to the bulls when they played in Boston….

  • thatsthetruthruth

    In boston, all roads lead to insignificance.

  • Sdfigits

    As a celtic fan I am just enjoying the strange amount of hate emanating towards anything B-town related. I’m not saying that the Globe is necessarily correct, HOWEVER, if we went by journalistic integrity than someone might notice that Mutoni just so happens to be the one posting this article, the avowed laker fan. The avowed laker fan whose stance on the controversial (no)call on Brent Barrys call was that yes, it was a foul and no, he didn’t care because the lakers won. I’m not intending this factoid to be a personal attack, just a reminder that every story has multiple sides and nuances, so at least make an attempt to be intelligent and insightful or just realize that you are going to be treated like the fool you are percieved to be by anyone with a shred of partiality or wisdom.

  • Brian

    The C’s need KG back so he can set moving screens without getting called for it. There is no player in the L who gets rewarded more for doing nothing than Pierce. He takes one step to the left and they call fouls for him.

  • Brian

    Was the Globe’s source Tommy Heinsohn?

  • http://jakeandamir.com tealish

    I just don’t know why you don’t go through Ray for that game-tying 3.

  • Jumpman3224

    For a team that supposedly prides itself on being physical…they seem to complain a lot about refs and lack of calls when they lose. I realize this is from the BG and not the celts, but didn’t it seem like Doc would be on the podium after every loss (this season) complaining about the refs and then get slapped with a fine. Just play the game. Make a few more shots or stops that you didn’t earlier and calls at the end wouldn’t seem so important.

  • joe

    @tealish: You must have been reading my mind when i was watching that possession

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Sdfigits: Actually, Mutoni’s reasoning was that on the previous play leading up to the no-call foul, Kobe had missed a shot that then bounced off Duncan’s foot but was given to the Spurs anyway. And he was right.

  • BostonBaller

    Mo Charlo I just like messing w/ people. I wasn’t offended by your comments mainly b/c The Globe (owned by the Times?) are at times really biased and NO Tommy H was not their source or they would have put a hit out on the refs. lol

  • Diesel

    Tealish – how the hell do the bulls let him tie the game with a 3 again?! I’m glad the Bulls won, but I think the win is masking a lot of inefficiences from Game 4. Don’t leave Ray alone! Make anyone else but him beat you on a last second shot.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Maybe if the Celtics are worried about the officiating they should play better so it doesn’t come down to overtime periods and last-second shots. You’re the defending champs, folks, play like it. Or wit it. Either way.

  • Josh D

    Wasn’t Crawford the guy who ejected Tim Duncan for luaghing?

  • Rich

    I knew this was gonna come up. Pierce seemed like he was getting hacked the whole game, but EVERYONE knows he flails his arms around more than anybody. And like someone else said, the Bulls got NO CALLS in Boston, NONE! And the Noah technical foul call in Game 2 was totally dumb. He didn’t even say anything. And what’s up with BIG BABY flopping worst than Varejao. Now that was funny. Thank God for instant replay.

  • Rich

    Clockwork, I’ve been waiting on a Bill Simmons article all day!!

  • josh

    just be glad that the series is tied up

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Celtics/Bulls Game 4 Recap

  • Trevor

    cdef28, I know perkins had alot of stupid fouls that got him into foul trouble but I thought it was kind of ridiculous to foul someone out in such a crucial part of the game over a ticky tack foul like that.

  • Diesel

    Trevor, moving screens take an extra few seconds to get around. Giving a shooter like Allen all the time he needs to win a game or send it into overtime. A foul is a foul, no matter what point in the game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com John D

    I just think it’s really weird that they’d schedule two refs from Chicago for a Bulls playoff game. But Stern is extremely arrogant about things like that. Which is why he kept on scheduling Joey Crawford to do Spurs games even after the incident with Duncan. He feels that any ref should be allowed to do any game, because if they can’t handle it, then they shouldn’t be NBA refs in the first place. I generally like Stern, but he can be really stubborn about things like that. I’m in no way saying that the refs cost the Celtics the game. The Celtics’ lack of execution took care of that. But the whole scenario just seems weird to me.

  • CCough

    Diesel, you keep talking about moving picks. Perkins and Davis been getting called for it all series. Not one time has Noah or Miller been called and they lean that hip everytime. 4x Pierce went to the hole and got fouled with NO CALL. Even the national tv announcers were saying it. The funny part is that Ben Gordon popped a hammy and won’t even play next game, so good luck next year!

  • Coach Master

    Ben Gordon heard a “pop” and later grabbed his groin? Coincidence?

  • K-Nasty

    The best team will still win this series.

  • Diesel

    CCough – your players are old. Losers like you kept arguing “pierce didn’t have a good game yet, that’s why you won” Well your 3 best players all scored in the 20′s and you still lost. I’d say good luck next year, but we all know your team’s best days are behind them.

  • vtrobot

    i just didn’t like the clear path foul. that’s a pretty lame new rule and it better be really obvious that it’s a clear path if you’re going to call it since it could result in a 4-point swing for one team. and they could have called the foul during the previous game when someone landed on pierce as he was hitting a three. other than that, the poor referring has been fairly equally bad for both teams.

  • kwame

    i would just like to point out to all you with short memory…the celts had 2 7 games series last yr…in their first 2 series….and won it all…soooo

  • Diesel

    Seriously? I’ll admitt I’m a Bulls fan and although I’d like the Bulls to win this series, I’m guessing the Celtics will. But if you honestly think you have any shot at winning it all again, most likely going through the Cavs and Lakers to do so, you’re crazy.

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    the celtics wont even beat philadelphia let alone Orlando in RND 2, this series against the bulls IS their championship

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Both teams are getting screwed in the series. Just like every other series going on.
    Suck it up porkchops!

  • playboy

    haha if any ref favoring is going on, how bout the cavs averaging over 20 free throws more than detroit. Rasheed dint go to the free throw line the whole series. of course slam isn’t going to mention it, when they’re constantly on lebrons balls the whole year.

  • http://slamonline.com Mike

    If any of guys didn’t know………IT’S THE PLAYOFFS!!!!! Your not going to get bailed out like the regular season. This is men, not women and children!! GO LAKERS!!

  • Esco

    Who on the Pistons played aggressive enough to deserve going to the line to make up the difference in free throws? Unless you award Stuckey and Bynum 10 extra free throws each, then what you’re saying makes no sense. Nobody on the Pistons put up enough of a fight. You don’t get to the line by not showing up to play.

  • Enigmatic

    I was at the game yesterday and believe me, the refs were getting NO LOVE from the Chicago crowd. If they were helping the Bulls out, they just fooled all 21,000 of us. They missed calls for both teams and made terrible calls for both too. Shut up and play.

  • http://www.Slamonline.com CP34MVP

    Uhm.. Boston Globe. Duh.

  • CCough

    Of course Celtics fans know that we aren’t gonna win it this year. Losing KG and Powe killed us. We pretty much down to 2 big men, because Mikki Moore is a waste. But, I will say that Chicago ain’t much better because they played 7 players last game. Only Cleveland can beat us, maybe Orlando – we’d smash Philly.

  • Fitzy

    I’m not saying the refs were playing favorites, but that is kind of stupid for the nba to allow homegrown boys to ref their team

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    It’s AI’s fault.

  • http://fjdklsf.com Jukai

    Playboy is a confused individual. Why would Rasheed go to the line? He only took jumpers.

  • http://fjdklsf.com Jukai

    Anton, it’s actually T-Mac’s fault.

  • jay

    Steve Javie just tripped Kobe. Is there a Utah connection??? Is Javie a Mormon??? La Times get on it.

  • http://www.basketballjerseyworld.com nba-jersey-king

    @jay… hahaha nice one

  • anonymous

    playboy, I have a question for you. Did you actually watch the Pistons/Cavs series or not? Or did you just read the box score? I’m a Pistons fan and I admit it, the reason there was such a huge disparity in free-throws was NOT because of refs’ bias toward the Cavs. It was because the Cavs kept attacking the basket and the only way to stop them (LeBron in particular) was fouling them. The Pistons, instead, weren’t aggressive, rarely attacked the basket and tried jump shots all the time. That’s not the way to draw fouls. So, no wonder there was such a big free-throw disparity.

    Do you guys even watch the games or just read the box score?

  • cdef28

    Trevor it was not a ticky tack foul. It was a legit illegal screen.

  • TO

    Ha, this is a joke…if anything Boston has been favored by the refs in this series

  • donlaker

    i still have some faith in the celtics they are not dead yet , they have to buy kg a little more time(2 round possibilities) the cavs are hungry just like the lakers . so at this point it is a toss up on who wants it more…………
    and javie tripping kobe , was funny because everybody at steve javie’s next house party will have a hd dvd (gift) of him sticking his foot out and having kobe still get2 the basket

  • ClydeSays

    I’ve seen some pretty blatant no-calls against the C’s this series. The Salmons foul on PP at the 3pt line, the charge taken by Scal and the forearm to the head on Davis.

    But I always think if the game is close enough to be determined by the refs, you haven’t done enough as a team to win.

  • Ryan

    Pooh got game. =D

  • http://www.droseroy.com airs

    clydeSays, all of those things you referenced to were good calls.
    salmons got all ball.
    scalabrine didnt get there in time.
    and they did call the “forearm to the head” on miller as a tech.
    its all subjective, but…
    they were blatant all right.

  • odinthor

    I don’t believe the refs are biased but rather that they are inept. In baseball you don’t care if the umpire has a large strike zone or a small strike zone as long as he is consistent on each pitch. Over the last several years I think that the refs haven’t been consistent at all … and it seems like many are making bad calls. Again, I don’t think they are looking to sway the game as much I as believe that they stink. The officiating is so bad these days I almost think it would be better if the players called their own fouls (how scary is that). I remember when the NBA only used two officials and it seemed that somehow back then they did a better job despite missing the extra pair of eyes. Maybe they just had more skill then.