There’s nothing better than a smash-mouth style, Western Conference battle. That is if the refs called the game equally for both sides.
Now I’m not usually the writer to bash the refs for a bad game or even go so far as to blame them directly for a loss, but tonight was ludicrous. Not to pick on Joey Crawford individually, but he headed up one of the worst referring jobs I’ve witnessed this year.
Ticky-tack fouls here, no whistle there, all of this from an officiating crew bearing the infamous Crawford, one of the NBA’s most renowned officials. The game lacked a consistent fluidity of calls and no-calls that utterly ruined the game for myself and, I’m sure, most of you. For instance, Michael Beasley was missing shots. You could see the frustration on his face that shots were falling in his favor. Eventually he started attacking the rim, not getting any calls and had a few words to say about it. For the rest of the game there on out, Crawford and his crew seemingly refused to make the call and ate their whistles instead.
Sometimes that’s understandable; referees aren’t there to make everyone happy. If a player acts up whining or bitching, they have the right to turn their heads at the opportune moment just to establish seniority. But when it happens every trip up the floor, we have a problem.
There’s also a problem when the game lacks a fair amount of calls on both sides. There was one play where Dirk Nowitzki was handling the ball on the arc, took one dribble forward and Kevin Love lowered his shoulder into him a bit and guess who was there hawking the whole situation? Crawford himself. Nowitzki goes to the line, an automatic two points with him there, and the Wolves’ deficit lengthens yet again.
Again, I’m not the guy who needs to find something to blame for every single loss, especially with a team as bad as the Wolves, but tonight’s officiating had to be addressed.
Outside of shoddy officiating, I thought the Wolves played yet another cohesive game tonight. Love led the charge against a surging Mavs team and continued his hot play as of late. It was rewarded big time in the third quarter, too. Love already ripped his 11th rebound of the night down and was just two points shy of tying the NBA record held by Moses Malone of 51 consecutive games with a double-double. The crowd was anxiously waiting to see him tie the record because we all knew it would happen. He got his bucket, and so the “MVP” chants commenced. If you take the entire streak into perspective, what Kevin Love has done this season goes beyond expectations. We knew he could rebound, we knew he could shoot. But did anyone see him tying one of the All-time greats for a historic record? Give this man a trophy and a raise.
Ultimately, the Wolves were close but could use more consistent wing-play and levelheaded referees to win. Next up are the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. I highly suggest you grasp onto a pair of tickets for this one. History WILL be made…