Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not calling 'em like they see 'em

The Rapture didn't work for me. I got all the way to Heaven and was done in by my allergies to harps and wings. So I'm back, baby ...

Those who dislike NBA basketball often talk about the refs' refusal to call traveling, but here are the five calls/non-calls that really drive me nuts:

5. Offensive guys jumping into defenders but still getting to go to the free-throw line. What ever happened to the principle of verticality?

4. Three-second violation. It's called so infrequently, the NBA might as well just change it to a 12-second violation.

3. Palming. These guys take 2, 3, 5 steps between dribbles. And then the refs call a foul on the defender. Where's the justice?

2. Lane violations on free throws. It's gotten to the point where I half expect the refs to call a violation on the one guy who doesn't enter the lane before the shot is released.

1. Moving screens. This is my personal pet peeve because every time a player is allowed to set one, it creates an enormous, unfair advantage for the offense. And this isn't just a problem in pro hoops. The year Illinois went to the NCAA title game, I counted 17 uncalled moving screens on James Augustine in one game. Given his "production" at that facet of play, I'm surprised he didn't make it in the NBA!

Despite all of this, I still enjoy the NBA playoffs. And I still respect NBA refs, who probably have the most difficult officiating job in all of sports but seem to get the most important calls right about 95 percent of the time.

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