Watching The Watchmen: Tim Donaghy Breaks Down The Officiating In Game 1

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Tim Donaghy, the former NBA referee who spent 11 months in prison for relaying inside information to gamblers, will review the performance of his former colleagues during the NBA Finals. Here's a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of Game 1, with accompanying video.

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Game 7


A few things stand out: Kobe is clearly getting different treatment from everyone else. Doc Rivers was all over the officials last night, complaining about Kobe's habit of carrying the ball and about all the calls he was getting that Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce were not. Derek Fisher and Rasheed Wallace are going to cause major problems in the series moving forward and should be watched closely. Wallace is smart and can tell his team isn't getting the same calls as Kobe, and Fisher will keep on flopping and doing the little things to annoy Boston.


11:33 [BOS 2-0] Obvious double-tech needed on Ron Artest and Paul Pierce. This sets the tone for the game, sending a message about physical play. Officials will discuss at the first timeout how important Pierce is to Boston. They will be very careful in not giving him a second tech.

9:58 [LAL 4-2] Foul on Fisher. Shows both teams that the league will not allow physical play.


8:40 [LAL 8-4] Palming violation missed. Artest gets away with one.

6:57 [LAL 12-8] Kobe gets a "star treatment" call with this bump. Cheap foul.

6:34 [LAL 12-8] Not a travel on Gasol. Missed call in favor of Boston.

4:31 [LAL 16-13] Strange call. I don't see a lane violation.

4:17 [LAL 16-13] Kobe gets another "star treatment" call. Most players in the league will not get this call.


4:00 [LAL 18-13] Rondo is fouled going to the basket. Officials need to make this call, if only to be fair and consistent with the call Kobe was given on the previous possession.

3:03 [LAL 18-14] Correct call on Kobe. Kobe works the official to get the next call in his favor.


2:30 [TIE 18-18] If Gasol makes the dunk no foul would be called. He misses so the foul is called.

1:56 [LAL 20-18] Correct call. Allen charges into and through the space of the set defender.


:59.1 [LAL 22-19] Pierce fools the referee into calling this foul. Kobe is given his second foul and goes to the bench.


7:31 [LAL 32-31] Cheap foul on Nate Robinson. This is a situation where Boston has no team fouls in the quarter, and Los Angeles has several. Officials are looking to make a call on Boston and wind up whistling a cheap one.


3:15 [LAL 39-35] Kobe goes to the basket and gets bumped. Wants a foul called; foul missed.

2:54 [LAL 39-35] Kobe gets call after complaining on two previous plays.

:07.1 [LAL 50-39] The Lakers have only three team fouls. They take a foul in order to disrupt the play of the Celtics.



11:47 [LAL 50-41] Not much of a foul. Lead official has no angle to make this call.


11:36 [LAL 51-41] Strange foul on Artest. He is in his defensive position, and a Celtics player runs into him.

11:29 [LAL 51-41] Allen causes this contact; Fisher gets the foul. Missed call.

9:04 [LAL 57-47] Hand check called on Allen. Cheap foul but consistent with the foul called against Fisher.


4:48 [LAL 67-56] Both players cause this contact. The Celtics get the benefit because they are down 11. Garnett gets two free throws.

3:03 [LAL 71-62] Foul called on Pierce. I don't see a foul on this play. Strange call — usually officials won't make this type of call on the team down several points.


1:39 [LAL 75-62] This foul is credited to Ray Allen but should've been given to Glen Davis. Puts Allen to the bench with five fouls.

:46.3 [LAL 79-64] Tech called on Wallace. Boston becomes frustrated with the officials. This will play a major role in the series moving forward.



11:23 [LAL 84-66] Kobe fouled; no foul called as L.A. is up 18. When a team goes up several points the calls start to go the other way.


10:18 [LAL 85-68] Pierce whistled for palming. Strange call. Players were doing it all night. Rivers was upset and made the same point to Joe DeRosa.

7:17 [LAL 89-74] Here's a call that'd never go in the Celtics' favor unless they were down by 10 or more. The defender is just standing in the paint with little contact.


6:12 [LAL 91-76] Another cheap foul in Boston's favor, another trip to the free-throw line. The officials continue to referee the score.

4:11 [LAL 93-80] Foul called on Kobe, though it looks like he got all ball. Another example of the score being a factor. All these fouls make the box score look better for Boston, even though the Celtics have been losing all game.


Tim Donaghy is a former NBA referee and the author of Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA. Follow him on Facebook here.

Video editing by David Matthews.