I feel a bit brash to attempt to base this on a stretch of the two first games of the Boston Celtics 2010-2011 season, but it look so blatent that NBA referee's are more of a factor in deciding the outcome of games than the players on the court and the coaches on the sidelines.
With the Miami Heat's presumed super-team including my boy, Dwyane Wade with LeBron James and Chris Bosh being hated by the majority of NBA fans, does it surprise you in anyway that they lost their season opener in a too close for comfort game against the Celtics at the Garden? As if it were necessary for the NBA to ensure that the team has no aspirations to go 82-0 (no matter how unrealistic that sounds), following that up with a 10 point win over the 76ers (after being up by 36 points in the third quarter). Not to mention the fact that on the same night, the Celtics lost to a LeBronless Cavaliers team after holding double digit leads throughout the majority of the game only to fall behind in the last two minutes with terrible calls on both ends of the floor.
It's also been very noticable that Shaq has been called for fouls on anything close to the basket. If Shaq is within arms length of any opposing player going to the hoop in the paint, he's been called for a foul. Everyone in the league, including referee's know that the Celtics do not have an adequate backup for O'Neal and taking him out of the game alone will cause the opposition to dominate the boards and begin a run of thier own by getting to the basket more easily.
So whether it be against the spread or the over/under, I have a strong feeling that referee's have a personal agenda in most, if not all of the games played in the NBA. They're either making money through gambling or being told that ratings for the NBA need to go up. What other way to make ratings go up than to keep games close yet also high scoring, playoff series going seven games and building up rivalries for competition. Play it striaght or don't play it at all.
Thanks to Eric Kilby for the picture of Gino on the big screen at The Garden.