I would love to start today’s column by saying, wow, what a fantastic first two games of the NBA finals, but I can’t. They were great games and it was the first time in history a finals series saw both game one and two go into an overtime period with each team being the beneficiary of a win.
But the overtime period of the second game is when I really started to notice the officiating and since I am in no way affiliated with the NBA, I can honestly say the officiating went south in the overtime period of game two.
I have no dog in this hunt, I have no horse in this race, and it absolutely does not matter either way to me who wins this series. But for the NBA to have the most elite basketball players in the world, I want to know why we do not use the most elite officials in the world. If every call was made I guess the games could last an entire day but this is what the game has become by not blowing the whistle.
It all started at Golden State in the game two overtime and Lebron James shot a mid-range jumper and the ball did not even make it to the rim. He was hit as he shot and just maybe the referee was out of position and did not see it. I am almost 100 percent positive he is strong enough to get the ball to the rim.
The following possession ended in a jump ball. The player jumping against James was holding him down with his arm up and around his back. Now I am starting to lose faith in the officials, but keep in mind, I do not care who wins. I am watching merely as a fan of basketball.
Fast forward to game three in Cleveland and it looks like I am watching an adult AAU game. Game three had so much grabbing, holding, and bodies hitting the floor I was in shock by the lack of no-calls. When someone did go to the floor after a loose ball the opposing defender did not even attempt to make a play for the ball, it looked more like an opportunity to take a cheap shot at their opponent.
Seth Curry had beaten the Cavs defender off the dribble and the defender responded and pushed Curry down. He fell after being pushed in the open court on his way to the basket, no call. So I guess as bad as it looks at least it’s going bad for both teams.
I will still probably watch some of the series even though I do not think the officiating will get any better in the remaining games. Perhaps the rules need to be revised and we could just eliminate those that are not being used, like traveling. Right on.