Yeah, About Those Replacement Refs...

It took a while (two days of games), but the reaction to the NBA’s replacement referees is pouring in. The general feeling? Ah, this could be a problem. Some examples, first, from the Associated Press:

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The replacement referees caused confusion in the first quarter. Ersan Ilyasova was fouled while shooting a jumper and awarded two free throws. During the next timeout, more than 90 seconds later, the officials decided he had been taking a 3-pointer, and gave him another shot.

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He made it, but Prince pointed out that the error was only correctable within 24 seconds, so the point was taken away from Milwaukee.

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Which Fanhouse’s Matt Watson responded to here, and cited his own example:

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During Monday’s game between the Pistons and the Heat, the referees failed to whistle a dead ball after Ben Wallace tossed up an air ball on a free-throw attempt in the first half.

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Worse yet, in the fourth quarter, the officials allowed Will Bynum, a career 77.8% shooter from the stripe, to shoot free throws for Maceo Baston, only realizing their mistake after Miami’s bench complained when Bynum drained them both. After conferring, the officials took the points off the board and sent Baston to the line, where he missed both attempts.

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And finally, there’s Johnathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

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We just watched 75 fouls and 102 free throws in one basketball game. OK, it’s preseason. … The league cannot go through real games like this.

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Wait, so you’re saying it’s NOT a good idea to take the most athletic game on earth, with hundreds of subjective rules, and implement a herd of second-tier officials to enforce those rules? Well, then: back to the drawing board!

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