Overall Home Team W/L 46/24
Home Team Win % 44%
% of fouls called on Home team 49%
47 fouls called per game
Bennett Salvatore has refereed over 1,400 regular season games, 175+ playoff games and 20 NBA Finals games. Bennett has the distinction of being the worst referee alive today. The man is just incompetent. Salvatore seems to miss more calls and make more bad calls per game than all the other refs and tonight he is our crew chief. Salvatore made one of the most controversial calls in NBA finals history in game 5 of the 2006 finals. The call basically gave the Heat their championship. Here is Bill Simmons' take on the call.
Salvatore called the foul on Wade's final drive in overtime (remember, the call where ABC couldn't find a replay to show that anyone touched him?) even though he was standing at midcourt a full 35-40 feet from the play, and even though two other refs were closer to the play. Not only was that NOT his call, he butchered it.
Another of Salvatore's controversial calls was in the 2008 conference finals when he waved off a contested 3-pointer that Pierce had hoisted over Richard Hamilton, inducing him to leave his feet with a ball fake and land on Pierce's back. Pierce, however, was charged with an offensive foul for creating the contact with Hamilton. Salvatore called game 3 of the Heat series which the Celtics won by 2 points. He was also the crew chief for game 3 of the Cavs series in which the Celtics were blown out. This is the one game in the Celtics playoff run so far that most of us can point to as being called horribly. The Cavs were 9-0 this season when Salvatore called their games. Seeing Salvatore's name has to make every Celtics fan cringe a little as tonight's game just got a lot harder to win.
Here are a couple of video examples of Salvatore's ineptness.
Overall Home W/L 43-24
Home Team Win % 57%
% of fouls called on the home team 46
Fouls called per game 49
Spooner has officiated over 1,000+ regular season games and 50+ play-off games. Spooner served as president of the high school referee association in 1982. Spooner is the ref who failed to call Kobe's elbow to the throat of Ron Artest, even though he was the ref in position to call it. Artest's complaints resulted in his ejection but nothing was called on Kobe in the game. The league later admitted their error and assessed Kobe a flagrant 1 for the elbow. But that didn't help Houston who had to play without Artest the rest of the game. Spooner called game 3 in Miami which the Celtics won and game 1 in Cleveland, which was called very one sided in Cleveland's favor, especially in the 4th quarter when Cleveland made a run to overcome a big deficit to beat the Celtics.
Overall Home W/L 43/29
Home Team win % 67%
% of fouls called on the Home team 50%
Calls 47 fouls per game
Willard has officiated over 1,100+ regular season games and 75+ play-off games. Willard also officiated the 1992 Japanese Opening Games in Yokohama. Before working for the NBA he accumulated 4 years of CBA officiating experience, 7 years in college level and 22 years in high school level in California. He called a technical on Yao Ming in a game in 2007 for saying "ahhhh" after a dunk. He is known for being wildly inconsistent in calling charges/blocks. Willard called game 4 in Miami, which the Celtics lost, and game 5 of the Cleveland series, which the Celtics won.
The Celtics have lost just 3 games in the playoffs so far and in each of those losses, one of today's referees was present. That is a very ominous fact since we have all 3 today.