There's a lot of talk about the Game 1 officiating during Saturday's first round matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors, as the two teams get ready to face off on Tuesday night for Game 2. Dwane Casey and a number of the Raptors players and media members think that the officials and the league are conspiring against them, giving the Nets "superstar calls" and not blowing the whistle on the other side of the ball.
Of course, I don't believe that to be true, as I wrote about on Tuesday morning. Neither too do Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce, who have been through their fair share of playoff matchups and seen just about anything. Garnett shrugged off the idea that the officials are giving the Nets "superstar calls," saying, "In the playoffs you're not going to get calls, if you do, then you're fortunate. Playing on the road is very difficult. We know that. Some of us do. And that's just expected to come with the series. Things are not going to go the way that you want them and you have to just continue to be aggressive. But that's the difference between experience and non-experience."
Pierce, too, doesn't buy into it, as James Herbert reports:
"I'm not going to really get on the calls," Pierce said. "I think we had a lot to do with everything that went on in the game. I thought we played well defensively. We were solid, we played without fouling. You know, the refereeing, it's going to be what it is for both sides.
"We could say something about the refereeing on our side, but we're not going to get into that. We understand that it's the playoffs. A lot of calls may not go your way and we understand that as veterans. You gotta be able to play through it."
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who served time in a federal prison for betting on games that he himself had fixed, has weighed in, saying that he does believe that the fix is in.
"They’re not only going against the Brooklyn Nets but going against the league office," Donaghy said. "They have a very talented team and have to be that much better than the Brooklyn Nets. I have picked Brooklyn to win the series with (Paul) Pierce, (Kevin) Garnett, Joe Johnson and even Jason Kidd. When you look at the coaches – the referees are going to be more active to talk and respond to (Kidd) over (Raptors coach) Dwane Casey."
He believes that the Raptors are in a serious disadvantage and that he isn't surprised that some have questioned the integrity of the officiating. Of course, this is like getting fashion advice from Dennis Rodman or marriage advice from Kris Humphries, so we can take it all with a grain of salt.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at 7:30, in Toronto.
- Donaghy: Raps are up against Nets, and referees - Jeff Simmons - Sportsnet.ca
- Kevin Garnett of Brooklyn Nets shrugs off referees impact on playoff series - James Herbert - ESPN New York