For critics of NBA officiating (we’re guessing there might be a few out there), separate incidents in games on Sunday and Monday didn’t do much to sway opinions that inconsistencies run rampant among referees — especially inconsistencies that favor top tier teams. On Sunday, Serge Ibaka’s clearly intentional crotch shot to Blake Griffin was deemed a Flagrant 1, which meant even upon review, the referees decided it wasn’t malicious enough to send the Thunder big man packing. Fast forward to Monday night, where pesky Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea (all 5-foot-nothin’ of him) delivered a hard bump to Ray Allen (6’5″) on a drive to the basket. Allen was sent sprawling to the floor, before hopping up and going after J.J. — just slowly enough so that cooler heads could intervene, because Ray Allen doesn’t actually want to fight anyone.
Barea was initially given a Flagrant 1, but was upgraded to a Flagrant 2 after official review (being a habitual flopper probably didn’t help his case) — a decision which ended up not mattering much, as the Heat pulled away for a double-digit victory. But Ibaka’s far more egregious Flagrant 1 (at least in the eyes of any male viewer) on Sunday allowed him to stay in the game, and he played a pivotal role down the stretch to seal an important road win for the Thunder. At least poor J.J. got some parting words in for Mr. Allen.