The officiating in the NBA Playoffs has been dreadful.It’s actually been worse than dreadful.Dreadful would be offended to know that NBA officiating was compared to it.Seriously, it’s one of the main topics of conversation among both hard core and casual basketball fans alike.We can literally tell how good or bad of a night it’s going to be once they announce who is officiating the game.Here’s a small list of names you DON’T want to see officiating your favorite team’s playoff contest (especially if your team is playing Lebron James).Joey Crawford, Mark Wunderlich, Danny Crawford, Tony Brothers, Steve Javie, Dick Bavetta , and Violet Palmer just to name a few.Stan Van Gundy wants people who have columns to write about the officiating because we won’t be fined $25,000.I’m only too happy to oblige.There’s always been favoritism towards the superstars in the league, but they’ve taken it to a whole new level of ridiculousness this postseason. The coaches and players can’t say too much because they’ll be fined which is absolutely insane.Someone should be able to say the officials were particularly terrible without being disciplined.The league has made it so the officials are free from criticism.They never have to stand up and be held accountable for their awful performances.They get to make one egregious call after another with no repercussions.It must be nice to have a job that you can blatantly suck at and not be fired for it.We should all be so lucky.You would think at this point in the playoffs only the best of the best would be allowed to work, but apparently they’re just going with the usual suspects.I don’t know what kind of grading scale they use to assess the officials performances, but it needs to be reevaluated because if these guys they’ve been trotting out are the best of the best then the league is in serious trouble. The officials have become bigger than the game and no league can survive that, not even the NBA
We all remember Elementary school. Anytime we left the classroom for anything we had to line up. Whether we were going to lunch, or outside for P.E. or some sort of program in the auditorium or whatever. We had to form a line. Most of my teachers liked to line us up either alphabetically or according to which row we were seated in. No matter the reasoning the teacher always picked a Line Leader. That person got to be the first one in the line and he/she got to lead the other 20 + students wherever they were headed at the time. The Line Leader was something everyone wanted to be. No one ever said "nah Mrs. Patterson, I think I'd rather be in the middle or the back of the line". Nope, everyone wanted to be first. Everyone. From the smartest kid, to the loudest kid, to the dumbest kid, everyone wanted to be the Line Leader. It was privilege and an honor. I don't know why, but it was. Not just anyone was qualified to be the Line Leader. The teacher was very unlikely to pick a child who consistently misbehaved, or blatantly underachieved in the classroom. She was more likely going to choose one of the smarter children or one of the better behaved children. On occasion she'd throw the class clown a bone if he'd managed to be somewhat tolerable that day, but generally speaking you had to be cut from a certain cloth to be the Line Leader.
This Hawks team is lacking a Line Leader.
Yeah it would probably be cool to walk down the hall with Josh leading the way, but he's easily distracted at times and he may very well lead us out to P.E. when it's clearly lunch time. Bibby would be okay, but sometimes he walks too slow and classes who are behind us would be able to catch up and pass us. It all comes back to Joe. It has to be Joe. If ever there were a child who might have preferred being in the middle of the line as opposed to the front, it would be Joe. It's not that I think he doesn't want to be in the front, its just I think he doesn't care either way. Joe has to understand that you can't lead from the middle. You have to lead from the front. As far as this Hawks team is concerned Joe is the quietest and smartest player on the team. Its his responsibility to make sure they get to the damn lunchroom.
I know this post probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but whatever, it was the first thing that popped in my mind when I thought about the goings on with this team.
This series with the Miami Heat was painful to watch 3 out of 7 times for Hawks fans, 4 out of 7 times for Heat fans and 7 out of 7 times for people without a rooting interest. Whomever was leading after the first quarter won every game. Other than the fact that I knew the Hawks would win Game 7 because they are better than the Heat, that little fact was the nail in the coffin in Game 7. The Hawks trailed 14-18 in the waning minutes of the quarter so I text my brother (who happened to be at the game) and I told him we have to be leading after 1 in order to win this game. There's no way around it. The Hawks then scored the next 6 points to end the quarter and the rest is history. Leading up to Game 7 all we heard/read about was how "anything can happen in a Game 7 and you should always bet on the team who has the best player" or something to that affect. No one even bothered to consider that Joe Johnson might be able to be the best player on the floor in that game. Joe had not had a great series heading into Game 7 so I guess it was easy for people to assume that he'd be nothing more than a footnote in the Dwyane Wade Game 7 highlight reel. Those people were mistaken. On May 3rd as far as that Game 7 was concerned, the team who had the best player was the Atlanta Hawks. Joe The Basketball Player put in work yesterday afternoon after getting off to a slow start. There are at least two "Where Amazing Happens" commercial moments that include Joe draining a 40 foot 3 pointer in Dwyane Wade's grill. One of which he CLEARLY got fouled by Wade. (vent) How is it that James Jones can get numerous foul calls while attempting 3 pointers and Joe Johnson can't get one call on one of the two glaringly obvious times he was fouled while shooting a 3??? I mean seriously! It all goes back to the lack of respect Joe gets. It's all good though. He didn't need the extra points. Joe The Basketball Player absolutely had his way with Dwyane Wade. Regardless of what you've read or heard, Wade was NOT guarding Joe Johnson this entire series. It irritated the hell out of me to hear people say "and Wade guards the other team's best player" Well if Mo Evans is the Hawks best player then yes, Wade did accomplish that. Yesterday was legitimately the only game where Wade consistently went one on one with Joe and his ass got worked! I was literally yelling "take him Joe, he can't guard you". Guess what, I was right. He couldn't guard him. Joe was efficient and just downright rude to Dwyane Wade yesterday. When he pulled up from right in front of the Hawks emblem I knew his confidence was at an all time high. I knew Joe the Basketball Player was among us. Kudos to you Joe. We now move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are a very good team and no one expects the Hawks to be competitive. No one except me. There are various Hawks fans who will tell you they are happy with making it here and they won't mind being swept by the Cavs and blah blah blah. Don't throw me in with that bunch. I am not that fan. I am not just happy to be here, nor am I among those who is expecting the worst. I fully expect MY team to go out and win this series. That's the type of fan I am. I've already envisioned the Hawks winning this series in 6 games. Honestly, I have it all worked out in my mind. How is this supposed to happen? I'm glad you asked. (I know you asked) We'll win one of these two games in Cleveland, come back to Philips and win both of our games, go back to Cleveland and lose, then come back to Philips and end the series. See how simple that is??? That's my approach to this series. I am not happy with a second round berth. Call me greedy or delusional or both, but that's the type of fan I am. I make no apologies for it.
Game 6 was all Heat all night. The Hawks were awful. There are many reasons as Drew and Bret and Jason outline factually and concisely.
Game 7 should be a Hawks win. I don't care if the Heat have the best player on the floor. The Hawks are a better team than the Miami Heat. They were better than Miami all season and that hasn't changed in 6 short games. They damn well better win tomorrow.