The Influence of Referees

joe crawford

Today, I have a topic that is not specific to the Blazers, or even the NBA, but all sports. While it may seem like a very small thing, it can be very important. As the title indicates, it is referees. Numerous times throughout a sports season, referees can make crucial calls that decide the outcome of the game.

This past season, there were a few games in which the Blazers did not get the call for. The most notable one was against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 22, 2013. Numerous calls against Portland caused the Blazers to lose their lead and fall with a score of 111-107 in LA. While I would love to rant more about this game, I’ll just link a video with this game, as well as a few others, in which the Lakers were bailed out to get to the playoffs:

Not only is the impact of referees important in regular season NBA games, but also in the playoffs, where it NEVER should be. Last night, during Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, there were multiple officiating problems. While the officiating was atrocious all game, there were two key calls, or lack thereof, the cost San Antonio the game and the chance to clinch the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Late in overtime, the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili was driving down the lane on a fastbreak surrounded by Heat players. He was clearly fouled on the play, probably multiple times. The argument can be made that Ginobili traveled, but in my opinion, the fouls caused him to travel. If I were the ref, I would have called the foul.

On the last play of overtime, the Spurs’ Danny Green leaked to the corner. When he caught the in-bound pass from Tim Duncan, he was instantly “blocked” by Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat. In my opinion, the block looked like a tackle that the refs didn’t call a foul. In this specific scenario in which the Spurs were down by three, Danny Green should have been given free-throws. Because he was shooting from behind the three-point line, he would have been given three free-throws. That would have potentially tied the game to go into a second overtime. The foul was not called and the Heat won to force Game 7 on tomorrow evening. The video recap for last night’s game is below, so that you can get a look at the no-calls and form your own opinion. While the Ginobili situation is not in the video, the end of overtime situation begins at the 5:54 mark of the video.

I personally feel as if the refs should not be able to have such a big impact on a game, especially for one on a stage as big as this. I feel as if all calls within the last three minutes of regulation (of a close game) and overtime should be re-viewed. Refs need to get the right call in big games.

Let me know what you think. Do you think the Danny Green play was a no-call for what should have been a foul? Do you think refs should be able to have big impacts on games? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,



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