Saturday, November 25, 2017
No Conspiracy Theory Here
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published June 5, 2009

The NBA has been faaaannntastic this playoff season, but many NBA fans have been a little innnsssane.  It would not be farfetched to believe that some of them would think that aliens live among us, man did not reach the moon, and that O.J. Simpson did not commit any crimes.

NBA fans have thrown around the same conspiracy theory for years that the NBA, namely the NBA Finals, is fixed.  Many of these crazy fans believe that there was a frozen envelope that helped the New York Knicks win the draft lotto in 1985 so that they would be able to draft Patrick Ewing, and now they are believing that NBA Commissioner David Stern rigged the Western Conference Finals so that the Lakers could be the Nuggets by having the referees favor Los Angeles.

There was also the theory that the playoffs were rigged to get the Kobe vs. LeBron match up.  The Nike puppet commercials with Bryant and James fueled that conspiracy.  But there are a few problems with that conspiracy.  The commercials were not produced by the NBA, they were produced by Nike, who have endorsement deals with both of the stars.  The NBA did not have anything to do with those commercials, so that does not prove that the NBA fixed the conference finals.  Some people asked why the commercials did not also feature Dwight Howard.  Well, he’s signed with Adidas, so he could not be in those commercials. 

Oh, and the Orlando Magic blew the breaks off of the Cavs, so there goes the theory that the NBA fixed the playoffs to get their Kobe vs. LeBron match up.

As for the Lakers, many Nugget fans and Laker haters believed that the refs were told to make sure that the Lakers won the series.  They had that built in excuse before the series even started.  It was either the Nuggets win, or the series was fixed.

Now why would the #1 seed in the Western Conference, who finished the season 11 games in front of the Nuggets, and who had home court advantage, need the series to be rigged to win it?  Seems like it should be the other way around.  The Nuggets would need the refs in their pocket to pull that series out. 

Game 5 was a good example of how delusional some fans are.  The Lakers, down by seven points, went on a run late in the 3rd period to tie the game heading into the fourth period.  Their run extended into the 4th, allowing them to build an 11 point lead.  During that time period there was physical play on both ends of the court, but the referees did not make very many calls.  They let the two teams play.  Ask a Nugget fan or a Laker hater, they’ll tell you that the refs let the Lakers get away with everything so that they could come back and win that game.  They conveniently ignored that refs did not make calls when Bryant and company were hacked many times. 

The refs swallowed their whistles on both ends of the court, but the conspiracy theorist only see the Nuggets as getting the raw deal.  The Nuggets were the more physical team, while the Lakers are more finesse.  So the physical play would favor the Nuggets.

So what was the problem?  How about the Nuggets only making about two field goals in about a 10-minute period.  The Nuggets missed shot after shot, and many of them wide open looks, but people want to blame the refs?  That does not make any sense.

Maybe, just maybe, the better team won the series.  The team that finished 11 games ahead of the other team, and had home court advantage, just played better when it counted. 

When it mattered the most, the Lakers proved they were the better team.  In their four victories they outscored the Nuggets in the 4th period by a combined 38 points.  In the four close games in the series, which were Games 1, 2, 3, and 5, the Lakers outscored the Nuggets by a combined 23 points in the fourth period, and were 3-1 in those games.

The Nuggets and many basketball fans kept saying how the Nuggets should have won some of those close games.  Well, in Game 3, the Nuggets were outscored by 14 points in the 4th period.  You do not deserve to win a game when you are outscored like that when the game matters the most. 

As far as free throw attempts go, the Nuggets shot 201 free throws, compared to the Lakers 198 attempts.  In three of the games the Nuggets shot more free throws than the Lakers, and they lost two of those games.  So where is the advantage by the refs? 

Folks just need to face it, there was no conspiracy theory.  The NBA did not get their dream match up of Kobe vs. LeBron, and the Nuggets just got beat by a better team.

 As always, the NBA is Faaannntastic!

Categories: Basketball

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