The Cleveland Cavaliers were victims of some of the worst officiating of the year.
Lamar Stevens was impressive off the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night versus the 76ers, but much like WrestleMania night two which aired just after the game, this stuff was rigged. The Cavs lost 112-108, and despite the 76ers best players shooting poorly the refs did everything they could do to help them out. The 76ers had 42, count them, 42 free throws in their win over the Cavs on Sunday night. An absurd number. Especially for a top-6 defense in the Cavs.
This was not a sign that the Cavs played poorly or committed a lot of fouls, this was a poorly officiated game. I’m not a “blame the refs” guy either, so when I’m saying it, it should carry more weight. One of the more egregious calls, or lack thereof, came in the fourth when James Harden pushed Lauri Markkanen, but the refs didn’t call the foul on Harden.
We also saw Darius Garland get shoved out of bounds in the same quarter; was there a foul call? Nope. Someone sneezed on Joel Embiid’s assistant, and the 76ers big man went to the line. The 76ers jump Garland like a scene out of Goodfellas, and some who, for some reason, the foul is called on Caris LeVert.
It’s absurd that the refs were this bad and they clearly favorited Embiid and Harden, who combined for 32 of 42 free throws. Clearly, the fix was in. One has to ask if this game was pre-determined like a WrestleMania main event.
Sure looked that way.
Lamar Stevens nearly leads the way for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the 76ers
Cavs Top 3
- Lauri Markkanen
- Lamar Stevens
- Darius Garland
Lauri Markkanen’s second-half rebound has shown that he’s a worthwhile piece to the Cavs team, and if the team had Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Dean Wade healthy, then Markkanen’s play would be helping the team get more wins. Markkanen had 16 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, and nearly edged out Caris LeVert for the first-point recipient of the game.
The two-pointer goes to Lamar Stevens, who while on paper didn’t out-perform guys like LeVert offensively, despite him having 18 points, Stevens’ defense was a key contributor to wrecking the 76ers offense. After all, had it not been for the refs, the 76ers woudl’ve gotten blown out. Part of that was on Stevens (and Rajon Rondo and Isaac Okoro). Of all Cavs players with 14 minutes or more, Stevens led the team with a +2 BPM.
The three-pointer once again goes to Darius Garland, with his 23 points and four assists, he went 6-6 from the free-throw line and 3-5 from three. His effort was nearly enough to pull the Cavs past the 76ers while shorthanded but the refs wouldn’t let that happen.
- Darius Garland (97 points)
- Jarrett Allen (68 points)
- Kevin Love (65)
- Lauri Markkanen (59 points)
- Evan Mobley (51 points)
- Cedi Osman ( 39 points)
- Ricky Rubio (32 points)
- Isaac Okoro (19 points)
- Dean Wade (10 points)
- Lamar Stevens (8 points)
- (*Tied*)Caris LeVert & Rajon Rondo (6 points)
- Brandon Goodwin (3 points)
- (*Tied*) Moses Brown & Dylan Windler (1 point)