Ok I'm not recapping the game per say, you all saw it. It was an instant classic, and one of the better games in NBA history.
I'm here to talk about something else. Something that permeates twitter and the like after every big game, something that grinds my gears.
Did the refs hand this game to the Heat?
We've all seen it by now; Manu Ginobili cutting to the hoop, Spurs down 1, less than 10 seconds to play in overtime. There was contact. Clearly enough to warrant a foul in many situations, and after the Heat ended up with the loose ball, the outcry started. "The league gave this one to Miami!", "Oh Stern gets his way again", "this league is rigged!".
My question for those people..are you freaking serious?
The NBA has a history, I get that. Tim Donaghy. Game 7 of the 2002 Western Finals. Superstar treatment dictating big calls. It's valid.
But anyone who honestly thinks tonight's game was decided by the referees is an excuse maker. They wanted the Heat to lose, they didn't, and now instead of giving credit, it's time to make excuses. I call it the downfall of America theory. Others may call it the Pussification of America (h/t Barstool). You don't get your way so you make excuses, bitch about some underlying condition (in this case the refs) and pretend like if you had just gotten a fair shake – you would have won. It's bullshit.
|"Oh no, LeBron won! It must be the refs!"|
The Spurs lost tonight because they weren't good enough. They could have sealed the game at the free throw line — but Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard failed. They could have sealed it on the defensive glass — but allowed Chris Bosh and the Heat to grab 2 crucial boards, keeping possessions alive. They could have decided it on the sideline — but Gregg Popovich took Tim Duncan out of the game, opening the door for Bosh to grab the rebounds.
Time after time, San Antonio failed to close the game. Time after time, Miami made them pay (Ray Allen with the monster three..shocker). You don't need to like the Heat, or LeBron to see that. You just need to have eyes.
Was Ginobili fouled? Yes he was. He also took 4 steps. 4. As in 2 more than the rule, and one more than what is usually enforced. The refs swallowed their whistles because hell, it was the biggest possession of the NBA season. They basically let both teams play down the stretch, not calling ticky tack fouls, and letting a classic game have some flow to it (Miami called for 26 fouls, San Antonio only 21; Heat shoot 21 FT's, Spurs 28) . We beg for that normally. That's what we want in the NHL, NFL and NBA playoffs — the players deciding the game. But tonight, when they did, it's suddenly a "disgusting display by the NBA" because wah-wah-wah, the big bad Miami Heat won.
It pisses me off because I hate whiners.
It pisses me off because it's not telling the whole story.
And it especially pisses me off because it's forcing me to defend the Miami Heat. So knock it off.
Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13 Michael Dyer 6/19/2013 01:05:00 AM Tweet