I just finished reading the article about David Stern going all Dirty Harry on the NBA. He has told the coaches and players to stop complaining about the refs or it will make his day to punish them for it or something to that effect. Stern said such comments were “corrosive” to the product that the league is putting on the floor. He said he understands why coaches try to work the officials through the media, but that the result is such comments undermine consumer confidence in the league’s product.
I hate to tell you Mr Stern, but it's your referees themselves who undermine the consumer confidence in the league's product. When LeBron James can play 43 minutes in a game and handle the ball much of that time and drive to the hoop like he does and grab and shove and push for rebounds like he does and end up with zero or 1 foul, there is something very wrong with the product you are putting on the floor. When fans can see with their own eyes an agenda being carried out, whether it it the league's agenda or a referee's agenda, then you can shut up the players and coaches all you want and the fans still will have no confidence in your "product." When I can watch LeBron grab a ref and spin him around to complain about a call but he isn't called for a technical foul like any other player would have been, then I have no confidence in your product. When refs let obvious calls go right in front of them, that undermines consumer confidence in your product.
There are just too many things that fans see themselves that undermine confidence in your product. The coaches and players complaints have absolutely nothing to do with consumer confidence in your product. If you want to improve consumer confidence in your product, Mr Stern, just put quality refs on the court who will call every game fairly and not ignore obvious fouls in front of them and not call touch fouls on one end while allowing players on the other end to be mugged. Don't give star calls to LeBron or Kobe or Durant and expect consumers to have confidence in your product.
With that being said, the refs for the first two Celtics games called them fairly well. But the one referee who saw Pierce pushed out of bounds by Richardson and then did nothing to protect him while he was lying among the Heat players was the real cause of the fight. And last night, as protected as LeBron has been in the past, the refs completely ignored Noah putting him in a virtual headlock to keep him from getting a crucial rebound at the end of the game. When you see things like that, you have to question the officiating. There were several questionable calls and no calls against the Cavs last night. Now, I was rooting against the Cavs and I had to wonder whether the refs were as well. It has nothing to do with a coach or player complaining. Mr Stern, put quality refs on the court with no agendas and who call ever game fairly and you'll get no complaints and the confidence you want in your product.
It was kind of fun watching the Cavs and the Lakers both get beat last night. But watching both teams get beat and seeing some questionable calls on both sides makes me hope that the Celtics are ready for referees along with the hostile Heat crowd and an energized Heat team. If they play like they did in game 2, they can overcome any referee interference and whatever the Heat can toss at them. Hopefully they are serious about another title and will come out strong and not let up.
I just read an article about LeBron and company partying down at a club after their loss to the Bulls last night. Makes me wonder about the Celtics and South Beach. If they are really serious about making a run to a title, they won't partake of the night life until they can celebrate with another trophy. I remember that the '86 team gave up drinking beer and alcohol for that season until they won the title. You would think that after losing a playoff game and with others looming, LeBron would want to stay in and concentrate on staying in shape and keeping his mind on the game instead of partying.
No team is 3-0 yet. Atlanta and Orlando have yet to play game 3 and will do so on Saturday. The Celtics have a chance tonight to be the first team to have a 3-0 lead in their series. They need to play like it is game 7 and not take anything for granted. Defense is what won the first two games and defense will win this one if they come out and play it as they have in the first two games.