May 25, 2007

Cavs Screwed in Detroit

The NBA should be embarrassed. The officials should be reprimanded. Who knows if LeBron would have made the two free throws that would have given the Cavs a win in Game Two of the conference finals last night. But he sure as hell should have been at the line. ESPN's Chris Sheridan reacts to the non-call, and to Cavs Coach Mike Brown's sanguine response to it.

The non-call was so egregious, I'd expect Jimmy Clark, Bernie Fryer and Mark Wunderlich to be told by the league office that they can watch the rest of the playoffs from Joey Crawford's man cave, since they don't deserve to be working at this stage of the postseason if they're too scared to call a foul on the biggest play of the game. But I'm not sure whether those three referees will be taking calls from the league office on Friday, since all three must be scheduled for surgery to have the whistles they swallowed removed from their stomachs.

You know, Brown could have come up with a line or two like that that would have cost him a fine but at least would have earned him the gratitude of the Cavs' fans, who will wake Friday morning feeling -- and feeling it rightfully, I might add -- that they were screwed.

Instead, Brown took the high road after the game:

"The officials get paid a lot of money, and that's their job. If they don't see anything, they don't see anything. We're a no-excuse team. We've got to get ready for Game 3."

But I agree with Sheridan that you can't act like you deserved to get jobbed, and just roll over...even if it means you get fined by King David:

I can understand the Cavs not wanting to be seen as a team that complains about the referees publicly, but there's a way to get your point across without crossing the line...

...The Cavs had a right to be angry, and I felt Brown had an obligation to at least show a little emotion. If he wanted to go ballistic and spend $50,000 getting it off his chest, that would have been acceptable, too.

I just didn't like the whole specter of the Cavs slinking off into the night looking like they were almost afraid to stand up for themselves.

They got robbed, and either their coach or their superstar should have found a way to say so. Instead, they came off as being meek. And at this stage of the season, it is not time to be a pushover. It's time to stand up for yourself and state the truth, and if it costs you $50,000, so be it. At least the refs will hear your message, and the next time it happens you'll probably get the call.

Posted by dan at May 25, 2007 7:57 AM