The Miami Heat upset the Boston Celtics on their own home floor Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
As usual, Jimmy Butler was superb. He finished with 35 points, 7 assists, 6 steals and five rebounds in the winning effort.
As good as the 33-year-old star was on the night, he wasn’t the main story coming out of this outing.
Rather, what fans couldn’t stop talking about after the fact was the reaction of one of the referees following a shot by Butler.
— Akumpo Fan Page #34 (@ImPrinceNate) May 18, 2023
Understandably, fans had some strong responses to the video.
They immediately flocked to social media to weigh in.
he saw that celtics -9 at home and thought he had a clear ML shot
— Christian Beal (@dachristianbeal) May 18, 2023
He’s a Celtics fan Lmao https://t.co/j0n1bgE0Wx
— Magico. (@Nike_Check_Mj) May 18, 2023
He definetly one sided
— Anastasiaxoxo (@Anaxo456) May 18, 2023
That is a bad look NBA. A homer official. https://t.co/z1ca74DLyJ
— Eric Edlund (@EdlundEric) May 18, 2023
That’s a bad look for an already suspect nba..
— Emma (@AKfortySlevin) May 18, 2023
This has been a wild NBA postseason. Between the Celtics cheerleader who went viral over her provocative private photos, the Denver Nuggets dancer who did the same and the recent Malika Andrews brouhaha, this most recent referee controversy feels like par for the course.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/31P9r9SGjV
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 18, 2023
That said, it is also undeniably odd. Referees are supposed to be unbiased arbitrators.
This didn’t look like a shining example of that.
Will the NBA come out and address what precisely happened on this particular sequence, and what impact it will have on the Heat’s series against the Celtics going forward? Time will tell.