Despite the fact that they’re just three games over .500, the Toronto Raptors are shockingly the third-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, which is humorous because the Memphis Grizzlies have a better record and are currently not in a playoff spot in the West, despite being only one time zone away from the Raps. But the NBA’s strange perception of maps aside, the Raptors need every win to keep their run alive so they can hold on to an optimal playoff matchup and maybe make a commendable run against the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers before they eventually play each other in the Eastern Conference Finals.
What Toronto cannot afford is to have wins stolen away by the referees and their questionable calls, like last night in Sacramento. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Raptors 109-101, but the game could have been a lot closer and the outcome different had Kyle Lowry not been ejected after this very interesting offensive foul call.
As the announcers point out, it is a foul for the shooter to kick his legs out at the defender, and maybe Lowry has a reputation for that and has therefore been added to the league’s “Watch List” for repeat offenders. But on a play that looked as innocent as that with the score so damn close? If I’m a Raptors fan, I’m throwing my Labatt Blue bottle at the TV in disgust.
The call was the second interesting one to come out of a Kings game this week, as Joakim Noah was ejected during a humiliating loss to Sacramento for airing his grievances with the refs after a foul call. My guess is that the Kings have become the first franchise to bribe refs with Bitcoin.