Saturday, April 28, 2012
JUST LIKE OLD TIMES
It has been 12 years since the Knicks and the Heat have met in the play-offs. Those games always seemed to bring out the worst in both teams. The rivalry was intense, so intense it became violent. Fast forward to 2012 and we have another play-off series between the Knicks and the Heat.
Game 1 was an awful example of a renewed rivalry. The Heat trounced the Knicks. The Knicks did not help their cause at all. They couldn't make a shot and they treated the ball like a hot potato. And to make matters worse Iman Shumpert went down with a knee injury in the third quarter.
The referees didn't help matters either. They became LeBron James' personal security force. In the second quarter LeBron and J.R. Smith went into the corner for a loose ball. LeBron and Smith got tangled and when LeBron grabbed the ball, Smith raised his arm. LeBron fell out of bounds. Foul on Smith and give LeBron 2 free throws. A few possessions later, Tyson Chandler sets a screen at the foul line for Shumpert. LeBron runs into a perfectly legal screen and flops. Foul on Chandler, Heat ball. A few seconds later, Shumpert is pushing the ball up the left side and LeBron is backpedaling in a soft cover. Chandler sets a back screen and LeBron runs into it and does his best soccer player flop. He was rolling on the floor and then jogged around the court doing the funky chicken. They give Chandler a flagrant foul and two shots for LeBron and the ball to the Heat. LeBron, just like a good soccer player, recovers remarkably and catches fire. The cherry on top of this referee sundae was later on in the quarter. Carmelo Anthony gets a foul called on him. Anthony is not all that happy with the call and throws a one bounce pass to the referee so the Heat can get their free throws. Technical on Anthony. Watching all of the refs' shenanigans with their lopsided calls against the Knicks reminded me of all those great play-off games in the 90s.
The series might not be like the series of old but the referee's disdain for the New York Knicks are just like old times.