By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 12.26.2016
If you watched the rematch of last seasons NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day then you might be asking yourself, ‘isn’t that a foul?’ Well according to the NBA the answer is ‘yes’. The NBA released their ‘Last Two-Minute Report’ of the game and according to that report the Cavs committed two key fouls that were not called and in the end, may have cost the Warriors a victory.
First there was Lebron James monster dunk where he hung on the rim. That should have been a technical foul but wasn’t called. Then with a few seconds remaining, the Warriors Kevin Durant fell down and that was cause by the Cavs Richard Jefferson’s foot. That wasn’t called either. Combined those would have put two of the best free throw shooters in the league at the line with the game in the balance.
Let’s not forget the unnecessary review of the shot clock violation that gave the Cavs a timeout (they were out) and chance to set their final play. A play that saw them score what would be the game winner.
While Warriors fans will cry foul and Cavs fans will tell them to ‘suck it up’, the fact is that we need consistency in the officiating. If the Warriors Draymond Green would have hung on the rim like James did then he would have been called immediately for a technical foul and hence ejected from the game (he gained his first technical earlier in the game). The lack of consistency gives the impression that the officials were favoring the Cavs or at least the ‘stars’ in the game.
Not being consistent in the calls is important, not just for the teams but for the fans. The Warriors vs Cavs game was the fifth most watched NBA regular season game ever on ABC. That means that there were plenty of casual fans watching. The NBA wants to convert those fans to ‘hardcore’ fans who watch more games, buy tickets and jerseys. That’s hard to do with inconsistent officiating that affects the outcome of the game.
Mark Cuban was right many years ago, the officiating in the NBA needs to be consistent. It can’t be called one way at the start of the game and another way at the end. It’s not good for the game and it’s not good for the fans. Let’s hope it gets better and we can see games decided on the court by the players vs by the officials.