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A Quick Analysis of Tonight’s Officials

 

We don’t like to make the officials a point of emphasis here at CelticsHub, but forgive us today for paying a little closer attention to the assignments for tonight’s game 6 at TD Garden.

So without further ado, let’s introduce the crew for tonight, consisting of Mike Callahan, Monty McClutchen, and Ken Mauer.

Now, I’m going to perfectly honest there. I have no real opinion of those first two guys. I’ve heard the names before but they didn’t trigger any reaction out of me. As Zach noted in our twitter feed, it’s actually been quite awhile since Callahan and McClutchen have worked a C’s game, so take that for what it’s worth.

That brings us to the one and only Kenny Mauer. A name that holds a permanent in the hearts of most Celtics fans.

Not familiar with Kenny? Allow me to take you back to December 2002. The Celtics, led by Antoine, Pierce and Vin Baker were hosting an up and coming Suns squad with names like Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire and Stephon Marbury.

Those names weren’t the story from that night though. Instead it was the officiating crew that got most of the attention, a crew that contained one Kenny Mauer. I will let the Sportscenter highlight clip take it from there, featuring Tommy Heinsohn in what may be my favorite Heinsohn clip of all time. The audio lags a couple seconds behind the video the entire time, which is kind of annoying. Stick through the whole clip though, believe me it’s worth it.

Let’s hope Kenny has a short memory…….and still has a wife to go home to.

  • Jason

    I’m sure my stance isn’t going to change anyone else’s opinion and certainly not the NBA’s MO, but after the Cs’ season ends, I think I’m done with the NBA. I’ve felt this way before and then come back, but this time I really think it’s the last straw for me.

    We endure the losing times to later enjoy the winning times. Well, even with them winning, I’m barely enjoying it and that’s putting it mildly. So what’s the point in following if you’re never enjoying it, right? Certainly this says something specific about me, but it’s mostly about the state of officiating. I can’t take it. Win or lose, I usually hate the refs. Are they corrupt and/or conspirators? That’s a serious contention, though clearly one recent one was. Assuming they’re all on the up an up, they’re still beyond awful in so many respects. They make calls out of position, don’t make clear calls in position, “interpret” fouls based on any number of factors that shouldn’t matter like if the player is a star, if the ball looks like it might go in anyway, etc. And on top of that, they’re assholes. Complete antagonizing assholes. And the league protects them at all costs as if they are infallible and omniscient. It’s the height of hubris, stupidity, arrogance and many more disgusting traits.

    Players, organizations and fans deserve arbitors that are both impartial and competent. NBA officials are neither and it’s not even close. Being absolutely serious, I think a coin would officiate an NBA game as consistently as these people do. That is, NBA games feel 100% random and inconsistent in terms of what is called a foul and what isn’t. Again, I can’t take it anymore.

  • Dan

    What type of video is this? I can’t view it on my computer.

  • Eric

    I also don’t see a video…just white space. Don’t tell me the league stepped in and censored video criticism of its officials!

  • Devon

    @ Jason, I completely agree. Well put.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Brian Robb

    Just fixed it guys, sorry about that, there was a problem with the link. Let me know if anyone is still having any problems seeing it.

  • Sophomore

    I love the Celtics. But Tommy Heinsohn is a bit much, even for me.

  • Sophomore

    I would say that some of the fouls on Perkins are hard to understand – especially when DH is bulling his way into the lane, it seems to me that Perk sometimes gets whistled when he just braces for the contact or starts leaning in so he’ll be ready for DH’s shoulder. If Zach or somebody can explain what the rule is there, I’d be interested and I bet I’m not the only one.

  • Zain

    @Jason

    Yep. I’ve already said that if C’s lose this series, I will quit watching the NBA. It’s clear as day to me that the NBA runs the show however it wants it scripted.

  • Zain

    Although that being said, I believe Boston by 10 tonight.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    To those of you who say you are abandoning the league, you should do that regardless of whether the C’s win or lose this series (as Jason says he might), right? I mean, if you have such problems with the officiating, why would it matter if Orlando or Boston wins this series?

    @sophomore: I don’t have time to look through the whole rule book, but I will at some point. It’s actually not that long. But one thing: You can’t have both your hands on a player’s back in the post, and Perk and Sheed get whistled for that often. They complain about it, but it’s a clear cut thing.

    In general, officiating the post in the NBA is just incredibly hard.

  • RBD

    @Zach

    You’re right – people basing their decision to abandon the NBA based on the outcome of this series are ridiculous.

    That said, your post feels a bit like you’re being an apologist. Whether or not the NBA is fixed (and I highly doubt it is), Stern has a HUGE perception problem. A huge portion of his fans believe it’s not on the up and up, vis a vis the refereeing. He either has to address it or the cries of conspiracy will grow louder.

    I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

  • Zain

    @Zach

    You’re right on that account, absolutely. But I find it difficult to let go of this team, which I love. It’s a matter of support, and how I believe they can overcome everything.

    I’m just getting tired of the frustration with the reffing, even though it’s not something one should let get to them. I’m sure its the same case for multitudes of people.

  • Jason

    I said after the season ends. That means successfully or not. So, win or lose doesn’t matter. I’ve invested this much in the season. Though logic may dictate I should get out now, I’m going to see it to the end. This close, I’m not going to bail now just before potential payoff.

    I will say, however, I did in fact turn off Game 5 very early. Nelson had committed two hacks and not been called for any fouls. Howard ran over a stationary Pierce. No call. Lewis was continuing to not be called for moving screens. Then BBD took a charge on Gortat but was called for blocking. This was late first quarter. I could see where this was going. I turned it off right then.

    Point is, I’m gritting out the final days this season, but it’s hard for me to consider putting myself through another season of being infuriated by incompetence.

  • Jason

    @RBD. The point was, even when winning (for instance, Games 1, 2 and 3) I still felt this way about the refs. You could go back and find posts to support this. I’m not bailing because the Cs are “now losing.”

  • Jason

    I think maybe I was a little too defensive in my last two posts. Sorry.

  • Jay P

    I completely agree with you Jason. I’m really torn about it, because even outside the Celtics, I love the game of Basketball. For me, I’d rather watch a basketball game more than any other sport out there.

    The the officials disgust me, and it just gets worse every year. I don’t know what to do about it, I don’t want to stop watching, but I can’t bear to do it anymore…. Sigh.

  • FYATroll

    Tommy is just way over the top.

    And amazingly, PPs antics go all the way back to 2002. Stoudemire did foul him. But it wasn’t a hack job. Simple straight up in the air, but under the basket. Pierce acted like he get with a two ton hammer or something there.

    Anyway, the officiating is just not that bad. I’m someone who watches sports at all levels, and basketball is so difficult to officiate I usually give them the benefit of the doubt (most of the time). NBA refs don’t seem great, but my god compared to college refs they seem like a gift from god.

  • FYATroll

    Oh, and Marion getting 30+ w/o Nash? What has happened to you so quickly Shawn?

  • http://celticshub.com Brendan Jackson

    I know right. It’s funny to think back at how much Marion wanted out of Phoenix. Still a good player and a tough match-up but not nearly as effective without the “7 Seconds or Less” team.

  • RBD

    @Jason

    Just to be clear, wasn’t criticizing you specifically.

    I feel your pain. It’s frustrating that we have to sit around and wonder about this stuff because the NBA refuses to improve the product on the floor.

  • Air France

    Magic fan here, I agree the refs are bad and are influenced by the league office. No the games are not fixed or else Mebron would have been in the finals the past two years. But the league tells the crew for the respective day “what to keep an eye on” wink, wink. I suspect that you Celtics fans will like tonights officiating. Look for Howard to get a few fouls early, then the Celtics will just need to control Gortat, a much easier job. This does not mean the Celtics are guaranteed to win, but the league will be sure they have every advantage as they would like a Lakers v Celtics finals.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    For what it’s worth (and I suspect it won’t be worth much to some of you), the referees union and the league office hate each other.

  • Jay P

    If that’s true, how do you explain game 5?

    …Actually, that argument still works. Having the Magic draw it out one more game, and end in Game 6 is pretty much a perfect case scenario for the league.

    The story line of the “epic” turnaround come back from Orlando… two more games of revenues, twice the hype, and then you still get your Celtics Vs. Lakers final. Stern couldn’t script that better himself.

    Hmmm…

  • DeVelaine

    @Zach: Are we totally certain they hate each other? Have we actually seen them at each other’s throats with desire to kill? What if it’s all a ruse?

    I don’t want to add to the conspiracy theories, but there’s really way too much evidence out there already that something isn’t right. I did a lot of stat keeping when I was in high school, and developed a bit of an eye for checking on what’s within the rules and what isn’t. Do some players push the limits as far as possible? Sure. Why shouldn’t they? If the rules say they can, or there’s a good chance they won’t get called on it, why not go for it? As Perk said in an interview “You try to get away with murder out there if you can.”

  • DeVelaine

    (And then I hit submit too soon.)

    But when you watch what gets called and what doesn’t get called… It’s kind of odd why some things are plain as day obvious and don’t get called, when there are some actually tough calls that don’t seem to be obvious in the slightest, but still get called.

    I read once that refs call fouls on reaction instead of actual contact. given the pace of the game, I can understand that to a degree, however… When everyone in the building can see a travel or a moving screen, or a hack… And it doesn’t get called… That’s a problem.

  • http://www.hotmail.com Josh

    I agree with alot of these posts. I’ve been watching KG his whole career (my fav player) but this season has been rough. Throw in the fact that we should start to expect mediocre regular seasons from Boston (Sheed only plays in the playoffs mentality) and I mite have to call it quits soon too….Sadly.

  • FYATroll

    Here is a stat for you. This years playoffs sucked something terrible.

    They were boring. They were over quickly. There were a ton of blowout. Did the league want that? Was that part of the grand officiating conspiracy? Does that help ratings? Inform me.

  • Paul

    These Referees are blind zebras….

  • Paul

    KG was hammered in the head by dwights elbow and it’s a flagrant the next day. Hmmmm

    everyone meet the 2010 Karl Malone!!

  • Paul

    I hate these refs! They have even had our sports loving ladies pissed off. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s really going on. Might as well throw the ball at a ref so he can throw it back at us in the stands.

  • complexity

    If some of you claim that a large percentage of the NBA fans think the game is fixed. There is an obvious reason for that with 100′s of plays are made each game, and only one team ultimately is the victor, then with the perception. The refs could be computers that called the games perfect for the next 10 years (is that what you really want?) and the refs would still be brought up.

    Do I think that horrible calls were made against the Celtics. Yes. It’s not even a matter of debate, the announcers even said it. If the NBA was such a shady league, do you think they could get away with that?

    When Tim Duncan and the Spurs won championship, after championship, do you think that was the most profitable time for the NBA. Ratings were down, were the Spurs that good that they overcame all the refs adversity? Nobody talks about how awesome it was to see the Spurs win 4 championships because they were a mechanical and at times, boring team.

    If the NBA had it there way, it would be Lakers vs Cavs every year for the last 5.

    Also, in the big 3 era, can you look at a series that the Celtics have been screwed in? Do you think the refs were trying to make the Celtics lose last year? I don’t recall one bad call from that series, I do remember the horrible play of the Celtics at times.

    If the Celtics win the Championship against, twice in three years. Who’s side are the refs really on? I’ll leave it on that note.

  • complexity

    @Jaleel White. Great point. Last nights Pheonix vs Lakers game was the first time that I jumped out of my seat like wow. Usually by this time in the playoffs you get a quite a few of them moments.

  • DRJ1

    Jason– I must 2nd your opinion, and disgust, and intentions. I’ve hoped for improvement, but it’s very, very slow in coming. They could fix it all overnight if they wanted to… but the will isn’t there. So they play their games, while we… we actually CARE. They must think we’re so silly… and in one sense, they’re right.

    Anyway…. with the Lakers winning last night and the refs very CLEARLY helping them (2 minutes into the 2nd quarter, which is when I started watching… I knew the Lakers were going to win that game)…. it looks like the league is through jerking us (Lakers and Celtics) around. They want an LA-Boston Finals, and they’re gonna get it, no matter what. From the refs for this game, to Baby being back, to the pattern the NBA has set lately…. everything points to a Celtics win tonight.

    And then there’s the Finals. I have NO idea if the NBA has an agenda there. I hope not. Hope they let the two teams play as fairly as possible, and let the better one win. I have NO doubt that that would be the Cs.

  • http://www.clarkwalkerstudio.com Luke Walker

    @ Jason, I completely agree. You nailed it man. I realize the guys like Zack who run this blog (and we appreciate the time you put into it) are huge die hard NBA fans and want to be non-biased to look legit among their peers. But honestly I think Jason speaks for most of us casual fans. By casual I mean I played basketball my whole life, still do in a league actually, and watch the Cs and local college ball when it’s on TV and catch all the playoff games. Visit the blogs several times a week too. But to me the NFL and MLB are the 2 sports in this country, other than those 2 the NBA, NHL, and MLS are all on about the same “nobody really gives that much of a crap” level. It’s a shame too because I love basketball, LOVE it. But Jason nailed it for me. I’m not into the conspiracy theories, but watch a random NBA game on Monday and you’ll see one officiated TOTALLY differently in almost every way possible to what you see on Tuesday. The guys like LeBron and Kobe are supposed to be the best in the world. THE BEST. Then why let them take 6 steps and give them every call in the book? Shit I’d rather see them get LESS calls if we are supposed to be a “witness.” A witness to what? Biased officiating towards superstars and ego driven refs who really aren’t all that great at their jobs? I’d rather not be a witness to that.

  • http://www.vigilantfan.com Vigilant Fan

    The “refs are fixing the games” meme has spread to the point where everyone is commenting on ref assignments before games even start and assuming the worst. Donaghy told WEEI today that these ref assignments are bad for the Magic (something I would agree with, in that 6 games is long enough and there’s no need to get greedy and stretch this series to 7 and risk the wrong team getting to the finals). The only thing I’ve seen from any of these refs this year is Ken Mauer handing game 3 (or 4? I forget) of the Bulls/Cavs series to Cleveland.

  • Celtics Fan Suck

    I love how Celtics fans now think there is something wrong with the refs after getting every single call in every game until the 2nd half of game 5.

    Game 1- Pierce gets 3 fouls shots on a non shooting foul.

    =Dwight gets hammered mauled and murdered and no calls.
    =Pierce jumps into players and its a foul
    =Celtics threw the ball out of bounds more then 5 times and got it back

    Game 2
    =Rondo travels 5 consecutive times and throws it out of bounds with no call or penalty.

    Magic breathe on the celtics its a foul.

    Howard keeps getting hammered.

    Garnett elbows Barnes and Barnes gets the tech.

    Please you all hate the refs when u don’t get the calls but you loved the games 1-4

  • DRJ1

    @Celtics Fan Suck– You missed the point, which has nothing to do with the Celtics, or which team we support. But then…. what can be expected…..?

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Hater (who lovingly states Celtics “fan” suck, the rest must be alright) says Boston is “getting every single call in every game until 2nd half of game 5″

    Fact

    Game 1 : Boston called for 25 personal fouls. Orlando called for 17 personal fouls

    Game 2 : Boston called for 29 personal fouls. Orlando called for 25 personal fouls

    Game 3 : Boston called for 20 personal fouls. Orlando called for 25 personal fouls

    Game 4 : Boston called for 30 personal fouls. Orlando called for 27 personal fouls

    Zach or Brian, can we please set up a delusional filter?

  • Rich

    I would love some people to acutally put together a montage of all of the travels that LeBron and Kobe apparently get away with, and I’m guessing I’d be able to easily explain away half of them as not being travels at all.

    If you take this task on, remember, you can’t use carrying the ball, because no one gets called for carrying the ball in the NBA, scrub players included.

  • http://clarkwalkerstudio.com Luke Walker

    I agree with DRJ, what the hell does this have to do with the Celtics? I am complaining about the NBA in general, as are most of the people. By the way which Celtics fan sucks? Did you have one in mind?

  • EnnBee

    Cptn Bubbles: When you put those numbers together are you including all of the intentional fouls on Dwight Howard? I mean, the Celtics have a state policy to foul instead of letting him shoot because he is a lousy free throw shooter. In game 5 he was being fouled without the ball with 9 minutes to go for 4 or 5 straight possessions.

    Given that, I’m pretty sure a straight numbers comparison is a little disingenuous since having 20 fouls to use on Howard is part of the team strategy.

  • teeth

    @FYATroll: Paul Pierce lost teeth on that play, that’s why he was on the floor. http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Paul_Pierce

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