I don't gamble anymore. I'm both in recovery for my own addiction, and I work at Firstep Intervention, owned by Mike Osborne, a gambling treatment facility based in New Jersey. As a former NBA referee, with a story to tell about the crooked officiating in the venerable world of professional basketball, I have observed this years' Playoff Series with interest, and a little fear. In my book, Personal Foul, I created a 'blueprint' off of which most games, and in particular, many particular match-ups, are decided.
This year, to prove my point and with many stern warnings to people who thought they'd use my predictions to place a bet, I used my 'blueprint' to successfully pick the winners in 14 out of 16 games. With 87% accuracy, including having picked the winner of Game 5 of the Boston/Orlando game by 15 points, and having said that after Game 6, Orlando would be dusting off their golf clubs, I believe it's fair to say the 'blueprint' works.
After every NBA game, each referee is required to review each game and write up a 'deep dive breakdown', a play-by-play analysis of their own performance. A copy of each report is sent immediately to the league office to compare against the report of an independent site observer who also ranks the refs' performances. To illustrate, I watched from start to finish, game 6 of the Boston/Orlando match-up (which I haven't done in three years), and I prepared a 'deep dive breakdown' for your own review. Read for yourself an insider's view of the bad calls, missed calls, and calls that clearly fall within the 'blueprint'. Then I dare you to tell me that the NBA's head office wasn't pulling for Boston...
1st Quarter Breakdown
11:23 Foul on Allen missed, Carter clearly fouled going up toward the basket.
9:23 Hand check foul called on Nelson, Pierce throws elbow into him and fools the referee into calling the foul on Nelson.
8:44 Cheap foul called on Lewis when Rondo drives in for a lay-up
8:27 Carter fouled; need to be consistent with the foul given to Rondo at the other end of the floor on the previous play. Carter deserves 2 shots they deserve the benefit of the same type of call at both ends.
8:09 They let Garnett elbow Howard 2x before calling the offense foul on him. Why was the first one let go?
5:11 Foul missed on Davis pushing Nelson as he drives through the lane, Nelson pushed and turns ball over.
4:41 Terrible call, Davis does not go into and through defender Lewis; he just makes a move and turns with the ball. Referee Callahan looking right at the play and passes on calling it, the outside official makes this call and is out of position with a bad angle.
3:17 Offensive foul missed on Howard, he pushes off the defender.
3:12 Foul missed as Rondo goes to the hoop on the fast break.
2:22 Foul called on Nelson. Allen and Nelson bump into each other, strange call.
8:58 Travel missed on Howard, then an offensive foul is called which sends him to the bench with 2 fouls. This is important because he is pulled out of the game. Again advantage Boston
8:01 Nelson travels prior to dribble, switches pivot foot prior to dribble, very obvious.
6:34 This is not a flagrant foul - this is not unnecessary contact, the rule states it has to be unnecessary and/or excessive contact, this clearly does not fit that.
4:22 WOW, this is the 3rd foul on Howard, NOT A FOUL. Robinson out of control going to the basket. He has 3 fouls and 2 of them are wrong.
3:19 Pierce fouled going to the basket, this foul is most likely let go because Boston is up 15 points, as the score separates the referees start to favor the team that is down.
12.6 Where is the foul, again the referees start to look at the score and favor the team that is down. Carter goes to the foul line.
Boston clearly is getting the benefit of the calls in the first half.
6:00 Travel called on Rondo, if Boston is not up 20 this is ignored. L. James (Cleveland) takes 2 more steps than this and it is never called.
4:38 Goaltending is missed; you can't take the ball off the glass. Garnett's block was illegal.
1:42 Cheap foul called on Allen, this is a foul called based on the score being a 22 point spread. This had no effect on the play. If the game was within 10 points this would not be called.
7:39 Foul on Garnett, cheap foul based on the score. 85-65
6:03 Announcer Mike Brean makes a comment that there is plenty of time left for a come-back, anything to keep the fans tuned in.
Game decided in first half.