In this year's NBA Finals features yet another rematch against the defending champions Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It's the fourth time these two teams met up in the finals and the series so far is polarizing, especially the referees. So far the Cavaliers, unfortunately, have been on the receiving end of the calls. Usually the team loses that fan base blames it on the refs,, but this Finals there have been questionable calls that make people wonder. Are the refs making sure the Warriors are getting the calls they want, and in turn not calling fouls for the Cavs?
One questionable call one that stood out in Game One was during the final few minutes of the entire game. Golden State's Kevin Durant charged into Lebron James who set a screen. At first it was called a charge but the referees reviewed the play then called it a blocking foul against James. This review has never been done before since usually after the foul is called, it can't be overturned. However, one of the referees explained why in an interview for NBA.com.
"The reason for the trigger is that we had doubt as to whether or not James was in the restricted area," Mauer told a pool reporter. "When over at the table, we then are allowed to determine whether or not he was in a legal guarding position. It was determined he was out of the restricted area, but he was not in a legal guarding position prior to Durant's separate shooting motion. So we had to change it to a blocking foul." The game was tied after Durant made his free throws. Later on when Cavs player George Hill missed one free throw that could put them up by one JR Smith's famous blunder came to play.
Another play is in Game Two where Lebron James is trying to get the ball from the other side of the court. While he was catching it looked like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were attempting to foul him. There was a lot of contact but no call. NBA Referees on Twitter explained that "it should have been a foul. The defensive player undercuts the offensive player, knocking him off balance. Unfortunately, in this case, the referee had a closed look at the point of contact." Although a foul is usually worth two points it does play a factor where teams can either get disheartened or encouraged.
The other games became fairer for both sides. Although the series is over and done with, it's clear that the NBA world is now going to pay close attention to the referees in the upcoming seasons and in future playoffs more specifically on the Golden State Warriors since they won the championship. I'm neither a fan of both teams but let's just hope that in the future the NBA league can sort out whatever problems so fans of all teams can be satisfied.