What to Watch For in the 2011 NBA Finals
Since there is no sense in me making a prediction (at least without taking into consideration the facts below), I’m just going to tell you what to look out for in this NBA Finals series which begins Tuesday, May 31.
The refs cheated in 2006 in order to ensure that Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O’Neal won the title. The officiating was abhorrent and the only people who refuse to see what happened in final four games — in sharp contrast to Games 1 and 2 in that series (and similarly in Games 2-5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, versus Game 1 of the same series) — are typically one of the 39 actual Miami Heat fans. The others are July 8th Fans (the date LeBron James decided to join Miami) and are trying to convince people that they were not only fans in 2006 — and somehow missed the refs’ cheating, but where also fans when Bimbo Coles, Keith Askins, Rony Seikaly and Steve Smith were there as well.
ON PHIL JACKSON’S COMMENTS ABOUT THAT 2006 NBA FINALS SERIES — MADE IN MARCH 2011:
Jackson said while Cuban has toned down over the years, he believes the outspoken owner’s criticism of referees might have cost the Mavericks the 2006 NBA Finals against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.
“That Miami Finals really was a tough one to swallow,” Jackson said before the Lakers won 96-91 on Saturday night in Dallas. “I think Wade averaged about 25 foul shots a game. You couldn’t even touch him. That was really tough to swallow and I think he understood there’s kind of a pecking order in this league and you keep your mouth shut at times.”
By pecking order, Jackson meant coaches can bark at officials from the sideline, but ownership sniping from the courtside seats doesn’t help the cause.
Tim Donaghy flat out states he used the anti-Cuban biased to place bets against the Mavs in the 2006 finals because he knew what was up:
“I think there was numerous games,” Donaghy said. “Obviously Mark was very outspoken in regard to the referees. Referees have personal vendettas that they take out on certain players, coaches and owners. Mark was certainly one of those people.”
Donaghy claimed that Danny Crawford bragged that the Mavericks rarely won playoff games that he officiated, information Donaghy used to place bets against the Mavs. The Mavs have lost 15 of their last 16 playoffs game that Crawford worked.
If Donaghy can be believed, there were two major officiating factors in the controversial Finals collapse that was fueled by Dwyane Wade free throws. He said referees are trained to favor teams that are down in playoff series. And then there’s the anti-Cuban bias.
“It had been told to me behind the scenes that they were actually happy in the NBA office when Dallas was knocked out from the playoffs,” Donaghy said, “because it was less complaints from Mark, it was less e-mails from Mark and it was less work that they had to do.”
THIS IS WHY CUBAN HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY SILENT SINCE THE PORTLAND SERIES.