VIDEO: Will the Referees Let the Clippers and Warriors play?

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whistleThrough two days of NBA playoff games, we have seen some horrendous officiating.

Blake Griffin basically got benched by the refs in Game 1 of the Warriors-Clippers series. Dwight Howard picked up his 6th foul late in last night’s Blazers-Rockets game on an egregiously bad call. Four players ended up with DQs in that game, which lasted a ghastly 3:21, featured 65 fouls and made quite a few East Coast viewers a little less productive today at their jobs.

Is this what we should expect for the remainder of the playoffs? Or will tonight, with Thunder-Grizzlies and Clippers-Warriors making up the postseason doubleheader, auger in a new level of tolerance?

Of the eight games played over the weekend, five featured at least 49 fouls called. And in the Clippers-Warriors game, there was no foul called on Draymond Green when he raked Chris Paul across the arms with 18.9 seconds left, causing a turnover that denied the Clippers a chance to go for the lead. That non-call was so unsettling that the NBA issued a statement Sunday admitting its error.

The hope here is that the refs calm down and let the players decide the game. Now that we are in the era of video replay, and with the refs heavily reliant on going to the videotape in the final 2 minutes of games, there is a severe lack of flow that I find highly problematic.

That was one topic of discussion in this interview with Noah Coslov of CineSport.




Warriors, Clippers Exciting Game 1 Reactions

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The NBA Playoffs have started.

The first game of the day on Saturday saw the Toronto Raptors give the Brooklyn Nets a 1-0 lead in the series between the 3- and 6- seeds in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors committed 17 turnovers in a seven-point 94-87 loss. It was a physical contest, marred by 42 total fouls.

However, if you thought the officials let loose with the whistles in the first game, you may have missed the second game.

Game 2 of the day featured the Golden State Warriors in Staples Center to face the 3-seed Los Angeles Clippers—two teams that don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. The officials were all over the place, with four players having three or more fouls in the first half. Blake Griffin and Andre Iguodala were both limited to 19 and 20 minutes respectively, both fouling out in the fourth quarter.

There were 51 total fouls called in the Western Conference showdown that saw Golden State walk away with a 109-105 victory. For as many calls that were made, there was plenty of physical play—much of which could have merited another blown whistle.

A prime example of a non-call, Chris Paul’s sixth and final turnover, which enabled Harrison Barnes to, in turn, get fouled and make 1-of-2 free throws to stretch the Warriors’ lead to three. Paul was clearly fouled by Draymond Green as he rounded the elbow, the resulting contact caused him to lose control of the ball as it went out of bounds.

Over the course of the final 13 seconds, Golden State missed 3-of-4 free throw attempts, Los Angeles just couldn’t capitalize. It was a compelling and exciting game to watch.

Many in and around the league were watching as well.

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Raptors-Nets Playoff Preview: Five Key Factors

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lowryThe twists and turns for the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors over the course of the regular season could almost rival those of the red and purple weddings on a certain Game show based in Westeros.

Brooklyn had championship aspirations ever since it acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on draft night, but ended the 2013 calendar year at 10-21, with All-Star center Brook Lopez out for the season, and searching for answers under rookie head coach Jason Kidd. While Pierce and Garnett were important in getting the Nets into the postseason, Kidd’s insertion of another offseason signing, Shaun Livingston, into the starting five is what really propelled the team on both ends.

Toronto’s aspirations were thousands of miles from lofty. Head coach Dwane Casey readily admitted throughout the season that the Raptors did not expect to reach the postseason. They offloaded Rudy Gay in a deal that most thought would get the team closer to Canadian prodigy Andrew Wiggins, not the postseason. But surprisingly, everything was coming up Raptors.

Kyle Lowry pushed past the dogged trade rumors and had a tremendous regular season. DeMar DeRozan finally developed into an All-Star scorer and lived up to his lucrative contract. Jonas Valanciunas continued his improvement. Native son Drake became a team brand ambassador, and the team took home the Atlantic Division title and the third seed in the East.

So that’s how the Nets and Raptors, and not the Knicks or Celtics, became the two Atlantic teams to reach the postseason. And now they face one another in what could be the most tightly contested series in the conference. Here are five factors you should look out for over the course of the next two weeks.

Tweet of the Night: Paul George tries politicking for more free throws

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Paul georgeThe Indiana Pacers, finally, brought home a big win.

During a two month slump that has caused the league, media, fans and Pacers themselves to question their capability, Sunday’s 102-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder should help them sleep easy.

At least for a night.

With the win, the Pacers positioned themselves to successfully claim home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. Despite Friday’s crucial loss at Miami, because the Heat slipped up against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, the Pacers control their own destiny.   

Nowitzki, Conley, Dragic, Stoudemire key for NBA Teams Chasing Final Playoff Spots

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With one week left in the NBA regular season, the pressure is on for two Eastern Conference teams and four Western Conference teams fighting for the final playoff spots. Millions will intently watch what transpires over the next seven days as teams face must-win games, and the effort and intensity pick up.

Each of these half-dozen teams have a player who will greatly impact the fate of their clubs the rest of the way.

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