Because of the NBA’s poor history, in which the refs favor teams with stars, I’m doubtful that the refs will call the rest of the series between the L.A. Lakers and Dallas Mavericks fairly. The Lakers have two tainted championships — in 2002 when the Sacramento Kings were the better team in the Western Conference Finals, and in 2000 when the Portland Trail Blazers were better. In each case, but especially against the Kings, the refs gave the games to the Lakers.
This year, the NBA would probably prefer to see the Lakers play the Heat in the finals if they can’t face the Celtics. So look for the refs to give the benefit of the doubt to the Lakers tonight and in the rest of the games against the Mavs. I hope I’m wrong, but I have no confidence that the refs will call it fair if it comes down to a close game at the end.