It is never good when the referees deserve mention. Unfortunately, Twitter was all ablaze with some of the questionable calls that affected the final result of Wednesday's Game Four.
Yes there was a clearly blown 24-second shot clock violation called that would have given the Pacers an 11-point lead, but instead kicked off an 11-2 Heat run to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
And then there was a controversial offensive foul on LeBron James when he subtly hip checked Lance Stephenson on a screen, causing James to foul out of a Playoff game for just the second time in his career. Miami played the final 60 or 70 seconds without James and could not overcome the four-point deficit they faced.
The refs are what people are talking about. Perhaps only because of the disbelief that this superstar-less Pacers team is going toe to toe with the might Miami Heat, who are unraveling in many ways -- from Dwyane Wade's health to the team's poor rebounding and shooting -- right before out eyes.
Let there be no doubt, the Pacers won this game. They defeated the Heat. It was Indiana 99, Miami 92. Not Indiana 90, Miami 92, Joe Crawford 9. That is not how this game works.
Down the stretch, the Pacers made the plays to take this game and put the Heat in a desperate position.
Those "others" analysts like to speak of stepped up for the Pacers. Lance Stephenson scored 20 points including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the third quarter and another big jumper in the fourth quarter which kept Indiana ahead by two possessions.
These were important moments from a guy Indiana cannot always depend on. Then there was the always reliable play from Roy Hibbert. Hibbert had 23 points on 10-for-16 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds, six offensive rebounds. Miami gave up 15 offensive rebounds in total to Indiana. These kind of numbers have become a theme throughout the series.
It is becoming increasingly clear in this series, that the team which executes its gameplan best will win. If Indiana plays good defense and gets the ball inside to Hibbert, the series belongs to the Pacers. If Miami is able to make jumpers and get out in transition before Indiana can get its bigs set, the Heat have the series in their hands.
The refs? They have nothing to do with this.
This is just a damn good series.
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I'm not a conspiracy whacko. I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Nonetheless, the refs HAVE done their best to affect the outcomes of the games in this series. IMO, they are consciously making calls in a reverse discriminatory manner against the Heat. They've apparently decided to silence all the talk leading up to this series of LeBron and Miami getting all the close calls. They therefore now look more incompetent, amateurish, and foolish than ever. James in no way, shape, or form committed six fouls tonight. I spent more time than I should admit analyzing the "six fouls" LeBron committed with the benefit of slo-mo and pause action. I counted two, for certain, and at most three.