Thursday, May 29, 2008

Game 5 on tap

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the NBA's Western Conference Finals have turned from a matchup of two great basketball teams to one of swirling conspiracy. Not to add uncalled-for fuel to the fire--Brent Barry shouldn't have shot three had the foul been called, since he wasn't in the act of shooting, but he should have gotten a 1-and-1 chance--but can someone tell me why the NBA corporate offices have their heads so far up their collective asses on this one?

How on earth could anyone think assigning Joey "Mad Dog" Crawford to officiate game 4 at San Antonio would be a good thing? After Crawford went ballistic and earned himself a suspension last season when he ejected Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench, then challenging Timmy Boy to a fight? After how Crawford--inexplicably officiating a Spurs-Hornets game last round--got in Coach Popovich's face and repeatedly jammed his finger in Pop's chest? Reversing the roles, had Pop done the same to any official, he'd have been instantly ejected and fined within an inch of his bank account's life. Ergo, the NBA rewards Crawford by assigning him to the pivotal game of the Spurs/Lakers series.

I remember when the Rockets came back from being down 3-1, but it ain't easy. With the Spurs as old and tired as they've been looking lately, tonight's game 5 may be it for the silver and black. But hope springs eternal.

The Spurs may very well have lost game 4 without Crawford on the LA lineup. Spurs did play like crap. But as bad as they played, they were within a deuce of tying the game and sending it into overtime in the final seconds. To have Crawford there muddying the waters is mind-boggling. Even if he called a perfect game, there'd be suspicions. So tell me, is the NBA this 1) duplicitous 2) oblivious 3) arrogant? Sadly, my vote is for all of the above.

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