NBA Playoffs: Game-Changing Bad Calls, & Hacking

The over-rated and and soon to be resting at home Houston Rockets and their over-rated and soon to be shown up once again ego man, Deee-Wight Howard, suffered a crushing loss Sunday night to Portland, thanks in great part to the non-play of the ex-Laker ego man. Hack-a-Howard, or more correctly Hack-the-Ego-Man, worked perfectly, as a 10-point fourth quarter Houston lead was overcome in large part due to fouls sending the ego man to the line for four foul shots, all of which he missed. The game went into overtime, and with Portland holding a one-point lead in the final seconds of overtime, Howard was called for a sixth foul, mercifully ending his evening.

A couple of days ago I wrote about the Clippers’ opening first-round loss to the Warriors, where a last minute chance to tie the game was stolen from them by a bad referee’s call that was compounded by the abominable NBA review system that clearly demonstrated

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an uncalled foul but that prohibited the foul from being invoked. The next day, the NBA issued a statement admitting the blown call and that rather than the Warriors getting the ball out-of-bounds, Chris Paul should have gone to the foul line. 51 fouls were called during the game, but the lack of a 52nd foul deprived the Clippers of any opportunity of tying the game.

Well, compounding the disgrace of the Clippers game, NBA referees also blew the Houston-Portland game, as NBA officials admit that the sixth foul on the ego-man not only never

actually happened, but that it was Howard who was actually fouled. While the league should be totally embarrassed by the pervasive incompetence of their referees, this call was likely not a game-changer. After the foul was called on Howard, Joel Freeland hit one of two free throws, making the score 122-120, with 10 seconds to play. The game ended with that score.

Had the referees made the correct call, something so seemingly simple to hope for but so unlikely to happen in today’s NBA, it would have been Howard going to the line, and while the chances of him making even one of two attempts is so far-fetched to even image, had he hit one, or even two, Portland would have had the ball back with that same 10 seconds, and the dynamic

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Damian Lillard, or one of his cohorts, would have scored a game winner. No doubt.

The NBA should be sticking its collective head in a toilet somewhere for what has gone on in the early going of this year’s playoffs. No only do they need to totally revaluate their entire refereeing corp, but their reply system, and expand it to promote one and only one thing: GET THE DAMN CALL RIGHT!

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