Let me start of by saying kZ:fpogwqriojkv'pm og bme 'lfmcv!! I haven't been that frustrated watching a game since our loss to the F@kers in game 7 of the Western Conference Finals a decade ago. Also, for those of you that have been spewing the "the refs didn't lose the game, the Blazers did" nonsense... that happens in every game- one of the teams is going to outplay the other. Your point is as ridiculous and moot as Mike Rice's Keys to the Game. Yes, the Blazers could have played better (obviously), but you can't say that the officiating didn't affect the game and/or even possibly the Blazers' competency in one of many different ways.
I don't want to make assumptions about the officiating in the game last night because it seems like there are so many different possible (both rational and improbable, yet seemingly likely) explanations for it: randomly unlucky, crappy officiating that didn't favor Portland or (turn your head for this one if you don't like seeing dead horses get beat) refs betting on games just to name a couple.
I would, however, like to throw out a possible twist on an old favorite of mine to read about... STERN INVOLVEMENT.
This is the first time that I've thought there was a real possibility of Stern and the NBA Brass issuing an order to the officials to fix a game when one of the teams wasn't a huge-market team or a team with a superstar on it. And yes, that means I don't think Dirk "End of the Road" Nowitzki is a superstar.
Let me cut to the chase. The NBA just had to eat crow for the blown call at the end of the Thunder/Suns game and to avoid paying the piper they threw the Blazers under the bus in order to level the playing field and have gotten away scot-free.
Huh? The Blazers and Thunder were in a three-way tie with the Spurs in the Western Conference. When the refs blew the call in the Suns' favor, the Thunder didn't just lose a game, they lost the sole ownership of the sixth seed in the playoff race. By handing the Mavs a win against the Blazers, they gave that spot back to Oklahoma City.
I know there are loose ends to that argument, but it's fun to speculate.