Friday, June 1, 2012

A Brief Message To Boston Fan

Let me get this straight...

You have an aging team, filled with jump shooters. Your bench is comprised of hacktacular players like Mikael Pietrus, Greg Stiesma and Ryan Hollins. You played your first two games on the road, against an overwhelming favorite, and the reigning MVP of the league. Your opponent's second best player earned a ring in a Finals series where he shot more free throws than most NBA players do in their entire career. Your team has a reputation, well-deserved, for riding the refs and earning their technical fouls. And you went into Game Two of your series talking about how you needed to be more physical, with your point guard saying that the opponent's best players needed to "hit the deck."

And you are, honestly and truly, surprised that you aren't getting the better of the officiating to date?

I realize that this is a new experience for you, to be wronged by the refs, rather than protected and coddled. I realize that you have a national sports network that happens to be covering the series, and is about as neutral towards the outcome of this series as Fox News is for the upcoming Presidential election. But for heaven's sake...

It's not a Full Blown Conspiracy when you don't calls.

It's just something that, well, every other fan base in the NBA has had happened to them.

Fairly often actually, and nearly every time they play your team.

In the first two games, the Heat had taken 20 more free throws. Considering how well they've shot them, this hasn't been an overwhelming advantage; if the Celtics were truly better than the Heat, they could have easily overcome this and gotten the split. It's the kind of thing that road teams, well, overcome. If they want to advance. And there's a reason why the Heat have home court: they showed up for the first half of the season, while the Celtics were getting their heads handed to them by the likes of the Pistons.

Paul Pierce has fouled out of a lot of games in his life, especially in the playoffs. There's a reason for that; Paul Pierce commits fouls. He wraps up people on layups, he puts his shoulder down and hears the heroic music into several block/charge 50/50 calls per half, and he plays some of the most physical defense at the 3 in the Association. This is part of why Pierce is a Hall of Fame player, but it's also going to show up in fouling out of some games. Live with it.

Now... do the Heat get preferential treatment? Of course. They are the favorite, they were at home, they have the two best players in the NBA at attacking the basket and drawing contact. They flop for calls, the same way that just about every successful team in the NBA does now.

It's also about as surprising a story as learning that water is wet, basketballs are round, and Boston Fan is very, very, very fragile.

And damaged, and scarred by tragedy, and sensitive to bright light, and thoroughly unprepared to live in a world with mean, mean people in it who aren't interested in clapping for fairies and his teams.

But look on the bright side, little soldiers... you have the entire national media to help you grieve!

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