The referees for Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks have been announced. The NBA announced that the crew will include Steve Javie, Mike Callahan and Bill Kennedy. Bill Spooner will serve as the alternate.
Rest assured that observers are looking for the first appearance for two particular officials: Bennett Salvatore and Danny Crawford. Salvatore was at the center of controversy in the 2006 NBA Finals, during which Dwyane Wade drew a metric ton of fouls while Udonis Haslem played physical, successful defense on Dirk Nowitzki.
Crawford has infamously worked an inordinate number of Mavericks losses in the NBA playoffs over the past decade; until this postseason, Dallas had gone 2-16 in the last 18 playoff games worked by Crawford. But the Mavericks have won both playoff games worked by Crawford this postseason (Game 2 vs. the Blazers and Game 4 vs. the Thunder).
Javie, Callahan and Kennedy aren't considered to be refs more likely to play to the home crowd or be heavy-handed on the whistle.
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