Midway through the second quarter of the Heat-Celtics Game 1, the refs just started calling technicals on everyone. Or everyone on the Celtics, to be exact. First on Ray Allen, then on Kevin Garnett, then on Doc Rivers.
This was so stupid.
The Celtics got five technicals in Game 1, including one for illegal defense and another on Rajon Rondo midway through the third quarter. Doc Rivers called his technical the "worst I've ever received." And really, all of them were pretty questionable. They were all as unnecessary and inexplicable as celebration penalties in college football.
Plus, this is the playoffs. That means two things:
- Emotions run high. The occasional outburst is inevitable and understandable, and a little extra fire from everybody is what makes this stuff FUN.
- Refs=NOT FUN. They should stay out of the way as much they can. The goal is to let the players decide the outcome.
The Game 1 refs ignored both rules.
Ed Malloy was like the weasely kid in debate club determined to make sure everyone follows procedure. Like Brian Phillips once said of Shane Battier, you half-expected him to yell "POINT OF ORDER!" at the scorers table, just to make things as lame as possible. And of course, each ticky-tack technical compounded the earlier calls, making them all even less defensible.
But that's not why Boston lost. They lost because even their healthy players are sorta injured. They spent 48 minutes laboring up the court, fighting tooth and nail for every bucket, while Miami gorged themselves on lay-ups and wide open threes. And I think Boston's best offense was KG shooting 20-foot jumpers? Either way. Next to LeBron and Wade, the Celtics looked decrepit for the entire game. Literally, we were watching old men hobble around and try to keep up with guys in their prime. It wasn't even surprising when the Heat exploded in the third quarter and went up double-digits. The score finally matched what we were seeing on the court.
So that was probably the most depressing part about the technicals in Game 1. They were all stupid and ridiculous -- playoff games are not the place for refs to prove a point -- but in the end, you couldn't even get that upset about it. As battered and beaten as Boston looked in Game 1, it's not like a couple technical fouls were ever going to make a difference.