Reviewing the Refs
In a perfect world, YouTube would keep refs honest.
by Sam Cadet
The ref has been the bane of the existence of many NBA fans for who knows how long. Granted, viewers have the luxury of viewing games from the comfort of their own home or live at the event when they see a no-call. Either situation offers an arguably advantageous view on the game depending on the situation. Even with that considered you really have to cram to understand how paid professionals flub it up left and right. I’ll spare you all with the NBA conspiracy theories as I’m not equipped to point fingers at press time. But something has got to give in the Referees Association as blown calls are getting out of hand.
Thankfully we live in a YouTube world where BS officiating gets exposed one upload at a time. Hindsight is a big issue in the following flicks but it’s the best most have in reviewing questionable calls. Besides they arguably look worse when seen as they happened. Now let’s get on with the scrutiny.
Refs must have a lead ear with matching sun blockers when people call out LeBron’s incessant traveling. Nevertheless the legend of the crab dribble is evidently long gone as he drives to the hole in this clip. Letting anyone talk a grand promenade to the cup is bad enough. But James is notorious for being liberal with his dribbling especially when he puts his head down. Cleveland won that close game but the potential turnover would’ve been costly had it been called.
Last Thursday’s game was quite a show but this no-call made me raise an eyebrow. The replay highlights the travel in progress as Anthony became aware of LeBron’s chase down. The game went into overtime with the Nuggets walking away with a W. All I’m saying is we could’ve seen a different outcome had the refs blown the whistle before the slam.
Get a load of this. Rashard double dribbles and nearly travels right before giving up the rock. Double dribbles get called more often than not due to their obvious nature but you’d be surprised at how many of these violations slip through the cracks.
Jump Ball violations
You could argue the game was out of hand by that point. Additionally the Suns won handily that night so rounds of “who cares?”-type comments may hit the comments section. But an infraction is just that and it should’ve been called appropriately. Similar jump ball violations have taken place in critical playoff games and I won’t be surprised to see it happen again.
Ron Artest’s Oscar Worthy performance after Pierce’s push off was enough to cause a critical turnover that led to Kobe’s game winning jumper. Push offs are also illegal but they aren’t usually enforced unless the defender hams it up or legitimately gets rocked. Then again the latter wasn’t necessarily the case for Byron Russell. So what could’ve been a tough no call became an easy whistle as QB’s finest flew into the front row. Perhaps Paul Pierce secretly has hulk-like strength that we’re not privy to. Until that news gets out I’ll hold that Ron was strong enough to hold down the fort when Paul dropped that light shove.
The play in question involves Hedo drawing a foul as he drove to the hole amidst 3 LA Lakers. The angle shown in this video isn’t the greatest as it doesn’t look like any of them altered his attempt to shoot drastically. But this side view highlights Pau’s left arm touching Hedo as he went up. With that said one could argue Pau’s contact wasn’t enough to impede Turkey’s Glue path to the cup. Either way it leads to a slippery sloap that, once again, turned into an “easy call” as Turkoglu sold the foul.
At first I was going to concentrate on chastising the usual suspects for letting another player get away with a less than kosher push. Upon further review at the :54 mark. I can’t tell what’s worse. The fact that Kobe got away with elbowing Omri or the possibility Casspi apologized after Bryant shoved him. At any rate Kobe should’ve received a tech if officials strive to be unfailing.
I’m well aware refereeing a game isn’t a walk in the park. But the amount of calls they miss, especially during playoff time, is flat out inexcusable. For the seven examples I provided there are plenty more I either glossed over or won’t get a second look on a picky concerned fans hard drive. Nevertheless, I hold the opinion that referees need to be held accountable for the obvious calls they miss.
Expecting perfection isn’t the right way to go about reforming professional officiating. Instead, calling out violations and fouls on the NBA’s elite players more consistently would be a decent start. On the other end the red carpet treatment certain players enjoy, especially in the waning moments of the game, can and should cease. Of course this doesn’t mean lower to mid-level athletes ought to get off the hook. But more rigid regularity in officiating matchups wouldn’t hurt.