During the season NBA players were unhappy with the league’s officiating. Numerous gripes and technicals got handed out and it got bad enough that the league needed to have discussions during the all-star break to discuss the issue.
Unforutnately for the NBA it can’t get rid of its nightmare officiating. The Indiana Pacers were robbed of a chance to at least make one last comeback attempt against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Myles Turner with a little over four minutes remaining got called for a non-existent foul on an offensive rebound that he eventually got to. He ended up laying the ball up and in while being fouled.
Yet, somehow Turner got called for a foul on the rebound resulting in two free throws for the Cavaliers and him getting sent to the bench with his sixth foul. It also resulted in likely a five point swing, the Pacers were trailing by seven at the time.
Game one for Cleveland against the Toronto Raptors another controversy for the NBA. With the Raptors clinging to a two point lead with a little over a minute left in regulation. Kevin Loved grabbed a defensive rebound. He got hounded and traveled before swinging an elbow dangerously and connecting with DeMar Derozan’s jaw.
Flagrant foul? Not even a review. Yet, during the season some of the most mundane plays officials have decided to take a closer look at. Now if the flagrant got called Derozan gets free throws and it changes the entire complexion of the game. The Raptors went on to lose in overtime by one point.
The NBA to its credit continues to send out the last two-minute report. On this one it might not have been the best idea as it indicated that Derozan fouled Love before he swung the elbow. Which is incorrect and shows how it has become truly a nightmare for the league to show accountability for its referees and their mistakes.
Love traveled before DeRozan made contact with the Cavaliers power forward. Yet, for some reason the league isn’t willing to state that this is the case. It was blatantly obvious as the announcers called it a travel immediately.
Now as for the upgrade to a flagrant one. It’s a slap in the face to the Raptors cause nothing will retroactively change the last minute of game one. One has to wonder how come there was no review immediately after the play? That’s poor officiating especially in a playoff game.
As for the elbow itself, the Cavaliers got a break. That was a flagrant two warranting an ejection and possible suspension. Love nearly cost DeRozan the remainder of the playoffs with that dangerous play. Was it only a flagrant one due to the lack of an injury?
There’s no valid explanation of how a player can throw an elbow connect squarely in the face of an opponent and nearly end their season. None, whatsoever. Which only complicates matters when it comes to officiating. Toronto is extremely fortunate that DeRozan didn’t break his jaw.
The NBA truly wants players, coaches and fans to know officiating wise these are the best the league has to offer. The question is will it ever get better? The answer is most likely not. Cause the officiating has been bad for a long time.