Let’s get this out of the way: The Boston Celtics deserved to lose Game 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Philly was more desperate, more physical, made more shots and pulled down more rebounds than Boston.
There is a “however,” however.
Celtics fans were upset with the officiating in Monday’s game, which allowed the Sixers to force a Game 5 Wednesday night in Boston. The Celtics got into foul trouble early in Philly’s 103-92 victory, with Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart all picking up three fouls in the first half. As a result, Boston had to play less physically, which allowed the Sixers to drive to the basket seemingly at will.
Clearly the fix was in, right? Well, probably not, but when you look at the recent track record of official Scott Foster, it’s tough not to scratch your head a bit.
Check out this tweet from 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Jimmy Stewart:
To recap: Foster was the lead ref for the only second-round victories for the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans. Furthermore, he was the lead ref for the Sixers’ only win of the series, which, of course, is still going.
So, what’s the zebra situation looking like for Wednesday night?
Make of that what you will.
At the end of the day, the Celtics can’t worry about the refs, nor can they get all hot and bothered about Joel Embiid’s trash talk. Boston needs to take care of business at TD Garden and set up a date with LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals — or else a lot of people, including Celtics forward Marcus Morris, will have pie on their faces.