I should be 10 dollars richer by now. “5 bucks the Blazers drop this one,” my text flashed to two other Portland media row writers about three minutes into the Blazers versus the Philadelphia 76ers game.
We all agreed Portland had plenty of chances to win though. Even after the overtime results, no one could have predicted that kind of ending.
Chances are if you missed the game, then you have plenty in common with Steve Javie’s officiating crew.
But before I get into it here, just know this young Blazers team has to expect anything and everything on their way to the playoffs – even poor officiating.
It may be about as close to the “Montreal Screwjob” as you’re going to get – a bevy of close calls and near falls until the shaft in a matter of seconds. That’s one train of thought. Still, I’m not willing to bet – despite my earlier $5 gamble – that Portland can put this loss entirely on Javie, Leon Wood and Mark Lindsay.
You can easily go there. You can blame the refs. Plenty of blogs and chatrooms full of Blazers die hards on Tuesday morning will. Or you can assume these kinds of growing pains to casually occur over the next couple of months, perhaps not to this extent. If the Blazers are making postseason plans – and I believe we can all agree they are – then shoddy officiating is going to happen as often as a team going 10-34 from behind the three-point line.
Nate McMillan put it perfectly.
“Either they missed some calls or they are getting ready for playoff basketball.”
McMillan’s beginning of the quote is accurate enough. But if officials are really beginning to get into the postseason mood here in late March, Portland should too.
The Latest: In the comings days I’ll be plugging this post from Monday every now and again. It’s a chance to gather some reader feedback for the upcoming re-launch of Beyond The Beat. Details inside….
piv via: daylife