Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 5/29/12
I have been bemoaning the NBA officials’ quick whistles on technical fouls and flagrant fouls for awhile now. After last night, I’ve finally had enough. The five technical fouls on the Celtics in Game 1 were ridiculous. Doc Rivers apparently got one for saying “Come on Ed,” to the official, while Ray Allen picked on up for simply saying “No!” after a call went he wrong way. He then walked away from the official and did nothing further to warrant a technical. He was not demonstrative or showing up the official. Fans don’t pay to see you, refs. The worst offenders of this have been MLB umpires, but the NBA officials are right behind them when it comes to making unnecessary calls that affect the game. Not only have I had enough of quick technicals, I have had enough of playoff fouls being called flagrant fouls. I may be old school, but I LOVED the physicality of the Pacers-Heat series. Sportsmanship is nice, and I don’t want guys headhunting out there, but I don’t think it’s a big deal to send a message to someone coming into the paint. With concussions being a hot topic these days, it’s hard to not call flagrant fouls when someone gets clubbed. But as long as the defender is going for the ball, even if it is a hard foul, it shouldn’t be a flagrant unless it is obviously excessive. The refs and fans think anytime someone goes down hard they have to call a flagrant, but it is just not true. Again, let me reiterate: I do not want guys targeting players or taking cheap shots. But I do want an enforcer like Kendrick Perkins to be able to hammer Tony Parker, while going after the ball, and not have to worry about getting thrown out of the game because Parker is small and goes down hard. In the 80s and 90s, that was the point: to discourage the small, pesky guards from driving at will and getting easy layups. Put them on their back a few times and you may deter them from being so eager to drive hard to the hole. If they continue to do so, kudos to them. I respect that. All in all, the refs need to control the game, not insert themselves into the game. If it is getting too chippy or they feel players are taking cheap shots, by all means give them flagrant and technical fouls. Don’t hand them out like candy on Halloween.
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