Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to discuss the officiating in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics were hit with five technical fouls during Monday night's loss to the Heat -- three individual T's (Ray Allen, Doc Rivers and Rajon Rondo), a delay-of-game team technical (for Kevin Garnett's tap of the ball after a basket) and an illegal defense tech -- and Donaghy said there's "no doubt about it" that someone from the league talked to the officials before the game and told them to clamp down.
"They want to send that message out to control the players so that they're not out of control and acting in a way where it doesn't look good for TV," Donaghy said. "When you talk about Danny Crawford, he's a referee who doesn't like to give out a lot of technical fouls, so when that took place, right away I knew that that came down from the league office. To give Ray Allen a technical foul -- who is probably one of the most professional players in the history of the NBA, was absolutely disgraceful."
Added Donaghy: "I don't think that in any way, shape or form Ray Allen crossed that respect-for-the-game rules. And I'm not a big fan of Doc Rivers, I know he can really be a pain in the neck to referees, but certainly he didn't even come near that line of disrespecting anybody at all. I thought that the technical fouls were way out of line."
Asked if he thinks the league will try to reign in the officials, Donaghy said no.
"I don't believe that they're going to come out and say they're wrong in any way, shape or form, because they're the ones that dictated that they wanted that done," Donaghy said, adding: "They sat them down before the game, and that's what they wanted. What makes it so terrible is -- like I said, I could see Doc getting a technical foul, but Ray Allen is one of the most professional players in all of sports. That kind of really threw me for a loop to where I knew that that was discussed before that game."
Donaghy said the Celtics might not have been targeted as a team, but the calls definitely hurt the visitors.
"When you talk about consistency with technical fouls, I noticed that there were opportunities that some of the Miami players kind of jumped at the referees -- [Joel} Anthony jumped at the referee one time and did just as much or more than what Ray Allen did," Donaghy said. "To show consistency, he should have been hit with a technical foul. But it just wasn't done. I didn't see really consistency with what they were trying to accomplish last night."
Donaghy, who served a prison term for his role in a betting scandal while he was an official, predicted that the Game 2 officials might give the Heat a quick technical in Game 2, saying, "They realize Boston got the short end of the stick."