Like it or not, Celtics take charge

Indignation over an uncalled foul in the last minute of the Celtics’ Game 2 win has shook the NBA to its cash-filled soul.

Well, that may be helium-fueled hyperbole. 

After all, anyone who watches the NBA even casually understands that the quality of the league’s officiating crew is, shall we say, competency challenged. Inconsistency is the refs’ greatest flaw. A foul one minute becomes great defense in another.

Establishing a standard is the most important trait for all officials in all sports. An umpire working behind the plate calls pitches on the outside corner but is a bit fuzzy low in the strike zone. Pitchers and hitters know that and, unless too stubborn, adjust themselves accordingly.

The officials in the NBA Finals have, so far, been clear in adhering to the no-blood, no-foul course of action – or inaction.

With under a minute remaining in Game 2 and the Celtics protecting a five-point lead, Dallas’ P.J. Washington took a pass from Kyrie Irving and looked to complete a successful fast break. Jaylen Brown and Derrick White moved in on Washington and joined him at the rim.

Replays showed that White hit him on the hand as he slapped the ball from Washington’s grasp. Those of us who prefer letting the players play could dismiss it as incidental contact.

But it was a foul. ABC showed the replay about a dozen times, from multiple angles, and White did make contact.

Here is where we part ways with the volcano of national reaction.

It might be argued that had Washington were awarded two foul shots the Mavs would have trailed by three points. To that point, Dallas was 9 for 17 from the foul line, so assuming he’d hit two wasn’t exactly a slam dunk, so to speak.

And had the Celtics taken the ball with 50 seconds left, drained some time from the clock and scored two or three points, Washington’s two points would have meant little.

It will be interesting to see if the refs working Game 3 in Dallas will engage in some home cooking there. If we could peek into commissioner Adam Silver’s mind he might be hoping Dallas makes a series of it with at least one win, if not two.

Assuming that Silver will send the refs onto the floor with a wink and a nod is silly.

Don’t say that on social media unless you enjoy rattling cages from coach to coast.