Last season, with the Golden State Warriors on the verge of a second consecutive NBA Finals win, the officiating of the series suddenly changed. Cleveland began holding and bumping Steph Curry as he attempted to move without the ball. The game got more ugly.
And not a lot of fouls were called.
I've seen this kind of thing before and it's about time to start bringing out the usual NBA Conspiracy Theories.
In the old days, the story was often told that David Stern would just send an officiating team of "fixers" out to manipulate the outcome of games in order to ensure a longer Finals (more games = more money for the league). And, it was often said, the league had a desire for the large-market teams to win. And I have to admit I actually suspected some hanky-panky in those days regarding certain games.
But Stern is gone and Adam Silver is now in charge.
So I'm just asking, can we look forward to some radical change in how the rest of the Finals games are going to be called? Will the Cavs be able to wrestle the Warriors into submission?
Well, I'd guess not. I'm not sure Cleveland is close enough to Golden State that officials could actually do much to help.
The Warriors are good. REAL good. I've seen a lot of teams come and go and I think this is certainly at least among the best. This team is in that conversation. And just like the Trail Blazers, the Cavs need help to beat them. I said from the start the only way Portland could beat the Warriors is to play its best game and have the Dubs play their worst.
And it's not much different with the Cavaliers.