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NBA Playoffs: Where controversy strikes

How a series of events conspired to make what could have been a great game between the Clippers and the Thunder at controversial one.

The Controversial play with Reggie Jackson and Matt Barnes
The Controversial play with Reggie Jackson and Matt Barnes
Ronald Martinez

So if you watched the Clippers vs Thunder 2nd round game 5 in Oklahoma City, you will come away with many conflicting thoughts. These are mine in order:

1. Too much hero ball - Both Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul, as good as they were 99% of the game, were absolutely atrocious  the last minute of the game. Chris Paul was worse with three boneheaded plays in a row that, essentially, cost the Clippers the game last night. Westbrook because, again, he chose to chuck a long three point shot rather than work for a better one (much like the previous night when he missed a wide open Ibaka). Only Westbrook was bailed out of his bad decision by Paul grazing his arm while shooting a three. Just ... bad

2. The out of bounds call was bad: Here is the deal, if the refs had just called the foul on Matt Barnes ... believe it or not, it would have worked out better for the Clippers (in hindsight). They were reeling, and a break for free throws (which would have tied the game) in addition to a subsequent time out would have calmed their nerves. As it was, the refs DIDN'T call the obvious foul and made a questionable decision to award the Thunder the ball when it went off of Reggie Jackson's hand. Barnes foul was as obvious as what subsequently happened. There is a rule that has been circulating that is supposedly explaining this decision. It is linked right here

Trying to make sense of the out of bounds call - Zach Harper CBS Sports

Again ... if they had CALLED THE FOUL none of the events that happened afterword would have happened. Too many excuses are made for for officiating, and last night was one of the worst. The Thunder shot 16 more free throws than the Clippers, and you could tell the home crowd made a difference. It's human nature to be affected by things outside of your own view like that, but it's sad when it's so predictable.

3. Get rid of replay: I actually agree with Doc Rivers on this point. The series of odd rules that lead up the controversial call made reviewing that play (in hindsight) a mess. It wasted time and only served to rattle the Clippers more. I believe that contributed to the bungled last play (where, oddly, Jackson blatantly fouled Paul and it wasn't called). These kinds of things should NEVER happen in high stakes games such as these. The Thunder may very well win this series based on last night, and it's a shame that replay couldn't function the way it was supposed to (Official Tony Brothers admitted that he didn't have all the replay angles ... I'm looking at you Chesapeake Arena people) It's a shame that it came to this. The game was good and didn't need outside controversy to diminish the results.

The Clippers will have a hard time coming back from that one. Between Chris Paul's mistakes and general official incompetence you have a disputed ending ... just when it seemed everyone was liking the NBA again.