BOSTON (CBS) — Wednesday night’s Game 4 is a gigantic one for both the Celtics and the Heat. A win for Boston and that 0-2 series hole is a distant memory. A win for Miami and they own a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Unfortunately, both fanbases have reason to be concerned about tonight’s officiating crew. In a cruel twist, the NBA is sending out both Scott Foster and Tony Brothers for Game 4.
Yep, that means two of the NBA’s most controversial officials will have their fingerprints alllllllll over a pivotal Game 4. Talk about maximum chaos. It’s just a shame they couldn’t convince Joey Crawford to come out of retirement to join this one too.
Officials for Celtics/Heat Game 4 tonight:
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 23, 2020
Here’s where we’ll note that Boston is 3-18 in games called by Brothers. Oh boy.
But it may not be all bad news for the Celtics. When the NBA wants to keep a series close, they send in Foster. Maybe that is good news for the Celtics, though conspiracy theorists will also point to the potential Lakers-Heat NBA Finals being a storyline bonanza for the NBA. (Not that another Celtics-Lakers entry wouldn’t, but imagine touting LeBron James against his former team — that’s double the LeBron highlights for the price of one!)
And the last time Foster called a Celtics game was Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors, which worked out pretty well for the C’s. At least in that game, the officials let both teams play and stayed out of it for the most part.
We can’t promise the same for Game 4 on Wednesday night, but if the Celtics play the way they did in Saturday night’s Game 3 win, it shouldn’t matter. There isn’t much the zebras can do to stop Boston if they continue to move the ball like they did, or play their brand of smothering defense throughout — though a few early whistles could keep that defensive intensity at bay. And if Daniel Theis finds himself in early foul trouble, it should pave the way for more time on the floor for Boston’s “Best 5” lineup that had loads of success in their brief time together in Game 3.
Hopefully the officials aren’t a topic of conversation when Game 4 comes to an end, but don’t be surprised if your inner Tommy Heinsohn comes out a few times throughout Wednesday’s game.