Tom Ziller of SB Nation notes that Danny Crawford is officiating tonight’s Game 2 in Dallas. In case you’ve forgotten since last year, the Mavericks are 1-16 in playoff games with Crawford on the crew. Most of them have been blowout losses. Is this a move on the NBA’s part to make right on the 19-2 Dallas free throw advantage in the fourth quarter of Game 1 that Nate McMillan found unfair? At the very least, as Ziller says, the NBA doesn’t care about what teams think about referee nemeses.
There are two things at work here. First, the NBA does not care about specific referee complaints from teams or their fans. Bill Kennedy in Boston, Bennett Salvatore and Danny Crawford in Dallas, Joey Crawford in San Antonio, Dick Bavetta anywhere but New York and Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter what history there is, the NBA will assign whoever it wants wherever it wants.
Add the Crawford hurdle to the Mavs’ recent history in Game 2’s, where they have lost their last four by an average of 17 points, and you have quite the uphill battle for Dallas tonight.