NBA Finals, Game 3: Danny Crawford will lead officiating crew

USA TODAY Sports

Danny Crawford is the lead referee for Tuesday's NBA Finals contest between the Heat and the Spurs.

Danny Crawford is your lead ref for Game 3 of the NBA Finals, which is spectacular news for NBA conspiracy theorists.

Crawford, who is joined by James Capers, Marc Davis, and alternate Bill Kennedy, drew the ire of Mark Cuban when he noticed his team had a disproportionately bad record in games refereed by Crawford, including the 2006 NBA Finals, when the Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat amid a parade of Dwyane Wade free throws.

However, now it seems maybe it's less of a disadvantage for the Mavs and more of an advantage for the Heat, who, after wins in Games 1 and 6 of last year's Eastern Conference Finals, were 14-3 in playoff games refereed by Crawford. He was also on the crew for Game 5 of this year's Eastern Conference Semifinals, a Heat win.

(For what it's worth, I don't buy refereeing conspiracy theories, but, knock yourselves out if you do.)

In Game 2, Joey Crawford was the lead ref and although there was slight panic about an unpopular referee ending up on such a critical game, everything turned out pretty uncontroversial. (He did call a really bad moving screen on LeBron James where the screen James set was perfectly legal, but the force knocked Tony Parker over, but quibbles in a rout.)

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