The Thunder & Spurs have found themselves in the second round of the NBA playoffs, a spot that both teams have become accustomed to.
This is a very anticipated matchup, as the dynamic duo faces off against San Antonio and their endless depth. These teams split the regular season matchup 2-2 appearing to be equally matched.
The Spurs made a statement in game one winning by 32 points, while holding every one of their starters under 30 minutes!
So, it was on to game 2 in the Spurs house where they are nearly unbeatable. Here’s where things get interesting.
The Thunder won the game by one point, in an ending that is maybe the most contresevial to date.
The NBA admitted to 5 missed calls in the last 13.5 seconds of the game. 5 missed calls! It all began with Dion Waiters blatant elbow to Ginobili, giving him space to make the inbounds pass. The referee was standing 5 feet away from the play, how did it not get called!?
Now, many have pointed to the fact that Ginobili’s foot crossed the line, and that this should have been called first. I can see this as a valid point…
But this wasn’t seen until a slow motion replay showed the play. It happened in a split second and for the ref to miss this, in my opinion, is excusable; but for Dion Waiters to so blatantly elbow Ginobili with a ref standing by, and for nothing to be called, is inexcusable. I won’t even talk about the other missed calls because they never should have happened.
This is only the second round, but already, the playoffs have been filled with bad calls. Stan Van Gundy, coach of the Detroit Pistons was fined $25,000 in round 1 for negative feedback directed towards the referees.
Stan Van Gundy is not the first, nor will he be the last to be fined for such comments.
Greg Popovich, however, has kept quiet in regards to the missed call.
Why does the NBA try so hard to silence negativity towards bad calls. Should referees not be held accountable, especially in instances like game 2 of the Spurs-Thunder series, where it could have changed the game completely?
A professional referee may be the only job in the world that isn’t punished for bad performance.
So i ask this: if coaches and players can get fined for negative feedback towards the refs, then why not fine refs for missed calls?