Whenever there is a missed call by an official, some TV announcer will say something to the effect of…”they didn’t get that one, but it all evens out over the course of the season”.
Well I have news for everyone. It doesn’t even out.
Players make mistakes and cost their teams games. Officials make mistakes and cost teams games. That’s just the reality of basketball. If a player can make, or not make a play that impacts the final outcome of a game, we have to realize that so can officials.
Officials create turnovers. A traveling, 3 seconds, or palming call made or not made. A change of position opportunity. Given or taken away.
Officials create points. A goaltending call made, or free throws given.
A technical called vs an official just walking away.
If you just look at yesterday’s games, a player got ejected with 43 points and the lead. His team loses.
A coach gets ejected with 3 seconds left in a 2 point game, over a call he thought should have been made.
A team has no calls on what they thought should have been goaltending in the final seconds of two consecutive games.
And that’s just last night.
There are about60 to 70 “call opportunities” each and every game. You can assign your own percentage of calls that are made that are right or wrong, but no matter what percentage you pick, the number of incorrect calls across the course of a season adds up.
If that number, and I’m just using easy math to make a point, is 500 missed callsper team per season. What are the chances that 250 of the missed calls went in favor of that team, and 250 went against? What are the chances of it working out that way for 30 teams across the league?
In a given game, if there are 10 missed calls, and 5 happen to create turnovers for your team, and the 5 other missed calls happen to create foul shots for the other team, that’s 5 turnovers and at least 5 free throws they shouldn’t have had in a single game. Think that might impact the outcome of the game?
Bottom line is that games, playoff positions and jobs are critically impacted by players. They are impacted by coaches. They are also impacted by officials.
The purpose in writing this isn’t to criticize anyone. It’s purely to make two simple points…
1. Officiating is a critically important part of any game. Every official I know busts his or her ass to do their best job every night. The NBA works hard to put the officials in a position to succeed. The league knows how important their job is to the outcome of a game. Now hopefully the media will as well.
2. Missed calls don’t balance out for teams over the course of a season. There are going to be teams that are going to feel like they can’t get a break and are snakebit with bad calls…
…and they just may be right.