My immediate reaction on twitter was this:
that call, then? really?— celticsblog (@celticsblog) May 15, 2012
I'm sure that a lot of you felt the same way. In fact, I know that Kevin Garnett felt the same way. But I definitely got some negative feedback from the non-Celtics fans out there and it was justified to an extent. You see, I really, really dislike blaming the refs for a loss. I have no problem saying that they were inconsistent or just plain bad, but at the end of the day you have to win the game on the court and be the aggressors so that the refs have little or no say in the game.
However, here's the longer explanation for my tweet. Like holding calls in football, there are moving screens on every other play in basketball and yes, the Celtics are among the worst at it. I'd be shocked if they didn't teach it to their big men in training camp. However, it would seem to make more sense for the officials to start calling that earlier in the game instead of all of a sudden in the final minute or two.
“I just thought in that situation you let the players decide the game,” said Garnett, whose illegal pick overshadowed an inspired fourth quarter in the 82-81 loss, “but if he felt like that was an illegal pick, then that’s what it is.”
Was it a moving screen? No doubt. Was it the right time to make that call? Well, let's just say I was surprised and leave it at that. As usual, Doc Rivers was a little more eloquent about the call and this same frustration.
"I wasn't fond of it. At all," Rivers said. "I think Kevin got three off-the-ball offensive fouls. So, clearly it looked like they were looking for it all night, and they got three of them. Listen, if you're going to tell me that Kevin was the only one moving in picks tonight, then I'll live with that. But he clearly was not the only one. But he was the one who got the calls tonight. Listen, we put ourself in that position. At the end of the day, I say it all the time, if you put yourself in a position to let someone else do something, then you can lose games."
Final point: Apparently Danny Crawford had been warning Garnett about the moving screens all night, so there's no excuses here. It was a technically correct call but I don't think it was what lost the game for us. Scoring 24 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarter combined did all the damage that was needed.