Tag:Los Angeles Lakers
Posted on: June 13, 2008 12:21 pm

Wow ... what a game

After the first quarter of Game 4, I was ready to blog about Tim Donaghy, Chick Hearn and Jack Nicholson being the referees. Turns out, at halftime, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Russell and Red Auerbach beat them up and took over with the whistles.

Just kidding. The first quarter was an abomination -- a display of truly bad basketball (by the Celtics), bad officiating (nice job, Steve Javie) -- but it also featured some inspired play (Lamar Odom).

Then the officiating evened out, the Celtics woke up, and Lamar Odom realized he is, after all, Lamar Odom.

It feels great that the Celtics completed one of the biggest comebacks in NBA history. Just hope it doesn't end up like the last time the C's had a playoff comeback like that (Game 3, 2002 East finals vs. the Nets) when the other team won the rest of the games in the series.

Also of note -- the Celtics biggest NBA Finals comeback from a halftime deficit (18 points). Of note, three teams are tied for second at 14 points, and two of them -- 1970 Knicks and 1983 Sixers -- did it against the Lakers. The third was the 1975 Warriors, over the Bullets. And all of them went on to win the title.

Back to the bad officiating. Trevor Ariza pushes James Posey in the back, grabs an offensive rebound an goes up for a dunk. Kobe mugs Kevin Garnett to make a 'steal' -- then Doc Rivers gets a T for pointing out to the officials (probably with some colorful language) what a bad non-call it was. That's just two examples.

But, of course, the refs did their jobs the rest of the game, and look what happened -- the Celtics outscored the Lakers by 27 the rest of the way. It's amazing what a team can do when it's not playing 5-on-8.

Does this sound bitter? Maybe, even unreasonably so since the Celtics won. But I was resigned to defeat (I told somebody I was watching the game with that if the refs kept it up, the Celtics would lose by 40) and the officials had me depressed. And even when the Celtics came back, I don't want people to forget what an atrocious job the officials did early in the game. Fortunately, Gregg Doyel didn't.

Anyway, great victory by Boston. Now the Lakers can (and will) win Game 5, then the Celtics win No. 17 on their home court.

Posted on: June 11, 2008 3:08 pm

Lakers should take down banner No. 14

Is the NBA guilty of a conspiracy with its referees, or are the men with whistles simply incompetent?

I've been willing to say throughout this year's playoffs that the officials are just plain bad. They don't favor one team or another, unless it happens to be the home team. But the latest Tim Donaghy news, the league's protestations nothwithstanding, make other instances of refs behaving badly questionable.

One intrepid CBSSports.com community member -- to protect the innocent, we'll call him g8trfan_1 -- has found video from the 2002 West finals of Kobe Bryant delivering a forearm to Mike Bibby's face, with a ref staring directly at the action, and no call being made. Check it out and discuss.

And remembering all of those bad calls in the Lakers' favor -- and this year's Brent Barry/Derek Fisher non-call, the clock starting late on Fisher's shot vs. the Spurs in '04, etc., and the 5,831,498 calls that went Michael Jordan's way in Chicago -- that make me laugh at Phil Jackson. He has the gall to complain about officiating when much of his coaching career has been built upon beneficial calls?

He can make his snide remarks about the officiating in Game 2. But did he not see Vlad Radmanovic take six steps on the way to a dunk during the Lakers' fourth-quarter rally? Did he not see Pau Gasol grab an offensive rebound (after going over a Celtics player's back), change his pivot foot three times and kick the ball out to Rad for a 3-pointer? That 'miraculous' Lakers near-comeback doesn't happen without some calls going in L.A.'s favor.

I guess if you have gotten the benefit of calls through your entire career, and all of a sudden a game is called straight-up, you might be a little confused. It's OK, Phil, you'll get over it.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com