FanPost

A RocketsFan perspective on the officiating

I've been thinking about Mike Barrett's article has been discussed around here. But many of you fail to mention Pryzbilla's flopping that took Yao out of Game 2, or how Yao has been constantly elbowed, shoved, and pulled around by Pryz/Oden the whole series.

Also, Roy has had significant amounts of free throw line attempts coming off of touch and tickytack fouls. He also fails to mention how the majority of the Blazers' offensive players (Aldridge, Fernandez, Outlaw, Blake) are jumpshooters. The exception is Roy, who, coincidentally, got sent to the line repeatedly in Game 4 when he drove into the paint again and again.

Take a look at the Rockets' offense: Brooks, Scola, Lowry, Wafer, Artest (when not chucking random shots), Landry. Those are guys who like to get in the paint first, and then take jumpshots when the paint is crowded. Sure, Yao takes a good number of midrange jumpers, but his height and quick post moves make it difficult to block him faceup without committing a foul.

If you want to look at the disparity of the free throws, look at how the Blazers constantly shoot jumpshots. They settle for outside shots, while Houston is relentless at driving to the basket. Hell, even when Yao's NOT in the game, Portland doesn't drive to the basket. It kind of reminds me of the old Rockets teams.

And the Blazers are some of the worst at "fighting for position" with Yao. They push, scratch, slap, and even hug Yao to try to get position... and then act like they are amazed that they got called for a foul. I don't know if you guys play that way all the time and never usually get called for a foul or what, but when you're grabbing and pulling a player... it's usually a foul.

Now, I'll certainly agree that there have been some questionable calls/no-calls in this series. For instance, the Pryz technical foul was one of the most pathetic things I've seen in a while. I also saw at least two questionable fouls on Oden when Yao was moving across the lane (which might also have to do with Oden's reputation as foul prone and a rookie -- referees give the benefit of the doubt to vets).

However, that is not a green light to foul and hug Yao and restrict him from moving.

http://i1.sinaimg.cn/ty/k/p/2009-04-25/1240638467_ahgXnK.jpg

Part of the reason the Blazers were so effective in removing Yao from games 2 and 3 was because of the way post play was called. The early fouls in game 4 were simply cleaning up the action inside.

Houston has definitely gotten some favorable calls, but when we're talking about just free throw disparity it mostly boils down to you guys taking so many jumpshots. Yao's not over there pushing Greg Oden or Joel Przybilla every time down the court. The only person that has been constantly aggressive at driving to the paint has been Roy, and he has shot more free throws than any other player in this series... maybe that should tell you something.

As much as I like to believe in consipracy theories, I think how the series has played out so far has more to do with the Blazers' style of play  and selection of defensive schemes against Yao than with the "riggedness" of the league.

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