Well, this could get interesting.
Joey Crawford, Ed Malloy and Ken Mauer are your referees for Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night.
Spurs fans just freaked out a little. They shouldn’t, but they are. I get why they are not happy — Crawford is the referee who threw Tim Duncan out of a game in 2007 for laughing. Seriously. Duncan was fined for the incident but Crawford was suspended for the rest of the NBA season “improper conduct and a lack of professionalism.” Duncan said at the time Crawford has a personal vendetta against him. The Spurs went on to win the NBA title that year.
Here is why Spurs fans should not be freaked out: No referee is more willing to make calls against the home team in big games than Crawford. He seems to almost enjoy it, making exaggerated calls that enrage fans and coaches. He is more likely to call stuff on the Heat tonight than any other official in the league.
Also, LeBron has fouled out of two playoff games in his entire career, both with Crawford as the referee.
I’d like to say I hope the referees are not part of the story tonight. I’m not optimistic, but I hope that is the case.