Following (pun intended) professional basketball has never been the same since Twitter was hatched and almost immediately took over the internet. Who would have thought that a website that lets any Schmo spew out 140 characters of expertise would literally revolutionize the entire sports journalism industry? Well, the inventors of Twitter probably did. Those jerks.
(You should probably follow The Diss on Twitter @TheDissBlogNBA #ShamelessPlug)
Having a Twitter timeline to refresh every 30 seconds is better than having your friends over to watch the playoffs with because A) If you follow the right people you can find terrific play-by-play analysis B) If you follow the wrong people you can scoff at how dumb everyone else is and thus how smart you are and C) your friends always come over, drink all of your beer, talk about how Lebron totally can't close, and promise to "get you next time."
Last night Twitter was blowing up with people all over the world complaining that "the refs had taken over the game."
@BasketballisGREAT said "let the PLAYERS decide the game!"
@CelticsRULE said "C'mon! Let em' play ref!"
@ConspiracyDude69 said "THIS IS TOTALLY ALL RIGGED!!!!!"
So I paraphrased a bit - but the general consensus on the internets last night was this: The referees refused to swallow the whistle and were having too big of a say in the outcome of game 4.
What a bunch of crap.
Last night was a total battle. These two teams really don't care for one another, to put it lightly, and they both wholeheartedly BROUGHT it last night. This was personified most notably during the 4th quarter and the OT period when the level of competition was teetering on maximum. It was fantastic.
Even though I of course wanted to see the best players on the floor during this time - which obviously includes Paul Pierce and Lebron James - I applaud the referees for calling the game exactly as they are supposed to. Pierce bulldozed Battier, who made a fantastic defensive play, trying to free himself on the inbound play. That's a foul. I'm sorry it was his 6th. It's still a foul and it should have been called. It is your duty as a perennial All-Star and future HOFer to know how to avoid fouls like that when you already have 5.
Same goes for KG when he hooked and took down Lebron trying to clear the lane for Rondo. I applaud the level of physicality that was on display, but I also respect the rules of the game. If we're going to let that slide that compromises the integrity of not only the league but the entire sport of basketball.
Turnabout is fair play. Lebron fouled out on an offensive foul battling for position in the low blocks. It was called correctly. At this point Van Gundy tried calling for a rule change to allow 7 fouls per player. Are you kidding me? This is NBA basketball. Instead of changing the rules for the common fan's enjoyment, how about keeping the responsibility on the coaching staff and players to manager their personal fouls? How about respecting the great players who know how to avoid fouling?
Also funny that nobody is talking about that HUGE tre Lebron hit coming off the pick and pop with Wade to tie it up towards the end of regulation. Weird, right?