The Boston Celtics are in a hole. They lost to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals by a final score of 115-111. That gives Miami a 2-0 advantage in the series, following a controversial game that went into overtime.
Jeff Clark at Celtics Blog, SB Nation's Celtics blog, tackled the officiating issue.
As much as I hate talking about it, the officiating was part of the story last night. Obviously there were a number of reasons why the Heat were able to get calls. They attacked the lane. The Celtics did their fair share of reaching, grabbing and bumping, as they always do. The Heat are athletic enough to force the issue. And superstar calls or not, James and Wade know how to initiate and create contact.
Rather than any grand plan favoring the Heat, which has become a popular refrain around the web, Clark puts the officiating in perspective.
In my not-so-humble opinion, it is folly to think that any great conspiracy is be-felling the Celtics. But it is fair to put the officials competency under the microscope. They are human and they have good games and bad games. I'd argue that many a Celtic victory was aided by refs giving our defense a good deal of leeway by letting them grab and pull and shove their way to stops (not to mention the classic moving screens that are usually not called). Tonight, it didn't go the Celtics way ...
In a subsequent post on Thursday morning, Clark urges fans not to count the Celtics out just yet.
But most of all I can't count out this team because they have shown so much resilience in the past. Sure, this could be the end and it might not be enough this year, but time and time again they've proven that they cannot be counted out until the final buzzer sounds.
The series continues on Friday night in Boston.