You all see it, night after night, game after game, whether it’s OKC-San Antonio, or Toronto-Indiana, or Golden State-Portland. After the game, Ken Mauer says we should have seen Waiters fouling Ginobli. And the league’s day-after “two-minute report” says DeRozan made “body contact” with Mahinmi, “dislodging him and affecting his ability to catch the alley-oop pass.” Of course, they haven’t gotten around yet to admitting that Golden State’s vaunted defense is, in good measure, a “hands-on” defense.
Mr. Research and I have been ranting about not enforcing the rules since early in the season, and not just in the last two minutes. Let’s begin with Rule 10: palming and running with the ball. Those are easy calls — unless referees are being specifically told to swallow their whistles. The Sumo matches going on in the low posts of every game is a further embarrassment. Mr. Research, as of the final seconds of the Spurs-Thunder debacle, has quit watching NBA games.
My take is this: Except for a few select teams, the NBA consists of children playing with children. Kids learning on the job. Add to that, referees today have not developed a personality or style and they, too, are learning. Then mix in the analytic component which has led to a camera being pointed at everyone on the court, including the refs. The latter become hesitant and, rather than make a bad call, make no call at all, time after time.
While the NBA teams this summer are “working hard and trying to get better,” Commissioner Adam Silver should get his ass to Secaucus, New Jersey, and spend some time watching game film, along with some seasoned NBA people who can explain to him how the game has been debased. Then he might also begin to understand why Mr. Research, an avid NBA fan for sixty years, can no longer watch this crap.