I feel compelled to open this post with a disclaimer. I am not posting this in an attempt to start a flame war, incite an argument, or anything even remotely in that vein. Truly, I'm not. I am genuinely curious to hear peoples honest opinions on this topic. Not knee-jerk post game reactions.
Ok, now that's out of the way. Here we go:
LeBron James fouled Paul George at the conclusion of Wednesday night's Pacers loss. I know it, you know it, every single basketball analyst on social media knows it. All the folks who enjoy posting .gifs and sports meme's SURE know it. (See Below)
So here is my question to everyone. Why isn't it ok to assign partial (or significant) blame to botched end-game calls when we are dissecting a loss? It very clearly is a foul. The foul would have resulted in 3 free throws which at that point could have led to the Pacers extending the game into overtime. The exact same situation we faced in Game 1 of the ECF's last season, by the way.
Yet, when a poster on PD, or someone on Twitter or what have you expresses anger over a blown call/no call, they are almost instantly and overwhelmingly inundated by people chastising them with quotes like "We didn't deserve to win", "They NEVER call that", "We should have never allowed it to get to that point", etc. etc. Tonight, I even had the pleasure of some random jerk on twitter writing this gem directed at me. And I quote (somewhat censored): "quit b*tching f*g" - What a lovely specimen of humanity.
The only thing I can think of that makes it "OK" to complain about calls in some cases, but not in others is the context. I'll explain.
In last night's game we were rolling. We had the Heat right where we wanted them. Unfortunately, due to foul trouble (another topic...), lack of offensive and at times defensive execution, and an overall lack of poise down the stretch, the lead dwindled and we eventually relinquished it. (Not to mention LeBron is apparently allowed to step out of bounds directly in Joey Crawford's eyeline)
So perhaps then it is only "OK" to complain about bad late game calls if the team played well ALL the way to the moment the bad call in question happens? Is that the only way we 'deserve' to be the recipient of a call that may change the outcome of the game? What my anecdotal evidence shows me is that many fans fall into the "We didn't deserve to win, therefore we shouldn't have gotten the call" category. This simply baffles me!
Basketball games are 48 minutes long. Last night, the Pacers were the better team for MORE of those minutes than the Heat. About 30-18 or so, by my rough estimate, maybe even a touch more. So, because in the waning minutes of the game we were outplayed, that means that our early efforts to build a 15+ point lead are completely inconsequential? Yes, we did give up that lead, which meant that we found ourselves needing a 3 pointer with time expiring to go into overtime. But because the previous 5-6 minutes hadn't gone our way, we suddenly forfeit the right to fair calls?
I realize that a few of you may see where I am going with this and post in agreement with my sentiments. But I am fully aware many more of you won't, based on previous PD and Twitter reactions to my opinions. (See this thread on a game last year...) I am not trying to sway opinions or preach that my view here is superior. As I said in my disclaimer, I honestly just want to know WHY people who feel the other way, have that opinion.
Call me crazy, but I just feel like if in the final seconds of a game, if you have an opportunity to tie or win, REGARDLESS of the previous circumstances that got you to that point, you deserve the same calls.
The Pacers were robbed of that opportunity Wednesday night. Yes, we gave up a lead. Yes, we played poorly down the stretch. Yes, it should not have gotten to the point where we needed to rely on a proper foul call. But alas, it did. And we didn't get the proper foul call.
And for the life of me, I just cannot fathom why we aren't more upset about it.
Have at it.