Here we go. Now it’s on. The 2016 NBA Playoffs have officially lifted off.
Never mind that cliché about a playoff series doesn’t start until home team loses a game. No, the NBA playoffs don’t really start until some refs completely lose control at the end of one.
Spurs-Thunder Game 2 was a two-act play. Act 1, in which OKC battled while San Antonio bricked. And the Second Act, where the refs turned the final 17 seconds into Mad Max.
I don’t want to see referees decide the game. Nobody needs to see a ref blow his whistle, hang his gooseneck and then jump on the scorer’s table for deciding the game. But there’s “Let them play” and then there’s “Let them do MMA.”
That’s what Dion Waiters did to Manu Ginobli’s chest. Same thing Manu once did to that bat. Blasted it. A straight forearm shiver to the sternum, not 5 feet from the referee… No call.
Waiters could have jump kicked Manu right in the beak and referee Marc Davis wouldn’t have even blinked.
Why do I even know “Marc Davis’s” name, when I should never know any ref’s name? Because “Marc Davis” was barely off the floor before he was acknowledging after the game it should have been a foul on Waiters. “It’s a play we have never seen before, ever.”
You don’t HAVE to have seen that before, to know that’s not basketball. You’ve never seen an inbounder punch a defender in the face to create space either, are you going to tell me that’s a non-foul as well? Aren’t you supposed to be prepared for things you’ve never never seen before? Better hope that every game in the playoffs from now on ends on plays the refs have seen before, otherwise we’re in a lot of trouble.
Never seen that before. Who, besides, Marc Davis, needs to have seen that before to make that call?! I had never seen a player elbow smash another one in the temple, but when Mett Mett did it to the Beard; I knew it was a foul.
Worst rationalization ever.
And it was the worst non-call you’ll see in a big moment. Then again, it’s far from the only thing they butchered in that final sequence. Manu’s toe went over the line. That’s a violation. No call. Waiters jumped when he threw the inbounds pass. That’s a violation. No call. Kawhi Leonard is tearing Russ Westbrook’s gamer off his back trying to stay with him. That’s a foul. No call. Danny Green knocks down Kevin Durant going for the ball. That’s a foul. No call. A freaking Spurs fan grabs Steven Adams after he falls out of bounds in the melee.
Nobody even noticed!! It wasn’t just one ridiculous missed call. It was chaos. And then it was over. One last royal rumble rugby scrum under the hoop and the Spurs have their second home loss in the last 7 months. And a whole series worth of missed calls in 17 seconds.
This is the kind of slop that has twitter crowing about NBA conspiracies. I don’t buy ref conspiracies any more than I buy curses. Maybe during the dirty Dave Stern days I would have. But I don’t think it’s a conspiracy. I think it was good old fashioned incompetence. I would say “I have no idea what Marc Davis was looking at.” But I do- he was looking right at Manu’s chest when Waiters blasted it. But he didn’t call it.
Credit the Thunder for being in position to win that game… But big dap to the refs for helping them finish it.