The Toronto Raptors have risen from the dead and have now made it a best out of three versus the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference Final. The city and country are abuzz with excitement especially since most people doubted them after losing the first two games in embarrassing fashion. There is something however that is more embarrassing than those defeats and even more embarrassing (but not as funny) as a LeBron James flop. That is the officiating in these NBA playoffs.
I have been around the 6ix for most of my life and there has been and still is this inferiority complex that everyone is out to get Toronto. Leagues such as the NBA and MLB don’t want teams in Toronto to succeed because it hurts US TV ratings where the big money comes from. This isn’t one of those rants. This is a rant that all officiating has been bad and that there seems to be such a push to make the big stars get to the finals that it borders on the insane.
— Ali B. (@_Ali__B) May 3, 2016
You can talk about the elbow on the inbound play of Manu Ginobli getting elbowed which had about 6 or 7 wrong calls in the span of 8 seconds. You have a one game suspension for Dahntay Jones for hitting someone in the groin. Jones’ 2016 contract is only $8,800. Yet, Draymond Green, the Golden State Warrior champion and all-star also hit someone in the groin and yet he of the $15M salary is not punished at all. NBA officiating has no rhyme or reason and that is even before we talk about the atrocities against the Toronto Raptors.
So I ask anybody to please explain to me how the Cleveland Cavaliers can go over half a game without committing a foul? I’m not talking just LeBron James or just Kyrie Irving not committing a foul, I am saying that the whole Cleveland team didn’t commit a single foul in the fourth quarter of game 3 and the first of game 4. Seriously, how is that possible?
Lowry & DeRozan comin' up HUGE in Game 4. pic.twitter.com/djth3MXqc1
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 24, 2016
We are not talking about a regular season game but a highly contested and physical Conference Final. The Cavs weren’t playing just any old team either, but the Toronto Raptors who were third in the league in Free Throw Attempts. What this means is that players like DeMar DeRozan (3rd) and Kyle Lowry (16th) know a thing or two about getting fouled and getting to the charity stripe. The refs just don’t have blinders on, it’s becoming ridiculously, painfully obvious that they are giving the Cavs the calls. I don’t think there is any kind of “anti-Toronto” conspiracy going on, far from it. What I believe is that the NBA officials are just really, really bad.
I could understand if this was the tentative, jump-shooting Raptors team of the past, but they aren’t. In game 3 they scored 36 points in the paint compared to Cleveland’s 20.
So the Raptors are driving to the basket but the refs are not making the necessary calls. It was so bad during one stretch that Toronto didn’t shoot its first free throw in Game 4 until the 6:13 mark of the THIRD QUARTER! In fact, prior to that, the last free throw the Raptors had based on a Cleveland foul (not a technical) was at 1:37 of the third quarter of Game 3. There is no other explanation other than the referees are continuing to be awful. They even went so far as to kick out a fan because he was yelling at the ref too much. This makes what the Raptors have accomplished so incredible as they have been playing against the Cavs and the refs this entire series. You have to give the Raptors so much credit as even though they gave up an 18 point lead, they held on for the win. Guess what folks, we have a series and when everyone was thinking sweep, we are going to have a game 6 at the very least.
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