The bottom line is this: the referees, Bennett Salvatore, Danny Crawford and Finals-first-timer Bill Kennedy, cost the Celtics the game. Silence, you objective basketball fans masquerading as Celtics loyalists. This loss had nothing to do with the Lakers posting up Big Baby Davis at every opportunity in the 4th Quarter. It is completely unrelated to Paul Pierce's lack of rebounding or scoring. And don't tell me how unacceptable it is that the bench outplayed the starters all game long.
It was the refs, just not for the reason you think. Sources close to the last night's officiating crew have revealed to me that it was Danny Crawford who did in the Celtics, with assistance from Salvatore and Kennedy. How? He used black magic to switch bodies with Ray Allen 15 minutes before the game. This was disastrous for the Celtics as everyone knows Danny Crawford is a terrible jump shooter.
"Which one of you will I turn into a fat toad? I'm feeling Sheed."
Crawford, it seems, is a master warlock. He has been practicing the dark arts for the past four decades and is second only to Dick Bavetta among NBA officials in his abilities. He has been working on the body switch for the past few weeks and bet Salvatore that he could do it on Ray for the whole game. Bennett was skeptical.
"How will I know it's you?" Salvatore asked.
"I am going to break Dennis Johnson's Finals record for the worst shooting performance in Finals history."
"Craw, you are one crazy motherfucker!"
"Yup, I am going to shoot every chance I get and will go at least 0-for-15. Unless Jackass Rivers benches me, that record is mine. If I hit even one jumper--and you know I won't--you win."
"You are so on!"
Crawford did not break DJ's record, shooting just 0-for-13, but nonetheless will be collecting a sack full of souls from the doubting Bennett sometime tonight.
"This whistle can summon the Hounds of Hell. Don't make me blow it, Doc."
One could whine that this is completely unfair but it's pretty obvious that Crawford has been even-handed about his spell-casting. After all, Ron Artest shot 6-for-20 in the first two games of the series. Also, that story Ron likes to tell about seeing a guy staked through the heart? That was Crawford doing the old body switch.