2018 NBA Finals: League admits referees blew Game 1, costing Cavs

The league admitted wrongdoing during Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, but didn’t correct the infamous blocking call on LeBorn James.

The 2018 NBA Finals have dominated the story line, thanks in large part to the worst officiating in the history of round-ball.

It was a bad look for the league that was actually downright scandalous. For all of the talk surrounding the legalization of sports betting, one might have to be crazy to place a wager on a game in which the officials have so much control.

The botched calls in Game 1 had some folks invoking the name of Tim Donaghy, the ref who actually fixed games in the early the 2000s.

League officials knew its crew was so bad, the NBA decided not to suspended Kevin Love for coming off the bench in defense of Tristan Thompson, who shoved a ball in Draymond Green‘s face.

There was some more to come from the league’s report from the final two minutes:

• The league  caught Draymond Green committing a lane infraction on George Hill‘s infamous second-missed free throw. A whistle would’ve given Hill a do-ver.

• Turns out Hill shouldn’t never been shooting because officials said the refs blew a call on LeBron James that preceded his pas to George Hill on the baseline with just over 12 seconds to go.

Great, thanks NBA! I love this game! Except when it’s governed by incompetence.

The call that had sports fans on DEFCON-1 for most of Friday–“The Charge” as it will forever be known in Cleveland lore, was explained this way: The refs weren’t reasonably sure James was outside the restricted area, even though he was obviously two-feet away.

Stevie Wonder thinks this is egregious.

Because the refs looked at it, officials were within their right to change the call from a charge to a block.

• Kevin Love won’t be suspended, which didn’t come as much of surprise considering how badly officials dissed the Cavs.

By the letter of the law, Love should’ve been suspended for leaving the bench, the NBA said he left the sideline in reaction to the initial foul call on Tristan Thompson. I guess they owe Cleveland one.

• The foul on Thompson that led to the brew ha-ha between him and Green was also reprehensible.

Thompson contested a shot from Shaun Livingston with the game out of reach. His elbow hit Livingston in the head.

Enough to get kicked out of the game? No way, it took the league office’s review to confirm that, although they still thought enough of the play to stick Thompson with a Flagrant-1, in addition to a $25,000 fine.

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