It’s true that in any sport, it’s never good to let the refs control the game. Well, what happened in Game 1 of this first round between the Cavs and Knicks that did change the game based on the refs?
With just about 11 minutes left in the contest and the Cavs down by a score of 78-72, the Knicks Julius Randle drove to the basket, he tried to sidestep the Cavs Isaac Okoro and in the process whacked his nose/face with his elbow while carrying the basketball.
The play was originally called an offensive foul and here’s where things get interesting. The refs reviewed the call. Ref Zach Sarba made the announcement that it would remain a common foul and not be any type of the flagrant variety.
“The definition for a flagrant foul is: Flagrant Foul Penalty 1: Unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent. Flagrant Foul Penalty 2: Unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.
Two shots and the ball for a flagrant foul.
Instead, the score is still 78-72. Yes, the Cavs did get the ball. No shots.
Think about if Okoro gets two shots and the ball. Hypothetically, say the Cavs make a three on the next possession.
The score is now 78-77 and who knows what could’ve happened. What did happen is the Knicks ended up scoring four-straight making the score 82-72 with them on top.
Well, there certainly was no malicious intent with it clearly being a basketball move. Thus, no ejection or anything of that nature. However, does that really matter when determining these calls of the flagrant variety? The dude whacked him in his nose extremely hard with the elbow, causing extreme pain and knocking him to the floor.
Isn’t that the point of the flagrant foul? If it’s going to exist…call it. Doesn’t have to be a #2 just the #1.
Certainly, the Cavs have plenty of other problems besides the refs.