Saturday, June 18, 2016
How To Fix An NBA Game
Don't listen to the analysts who say fixing an NBA game is so complicated and insanely complex and involves so many people that it never happens.
That's rubbish. Fixes happen in the NBA. Not only that, they aren't all that difficult to execute..
By the way, the players aren't involved. It's just the refs--very few refs. In college, where fixing means point-shaving, gamblers involve players and that gets messy, because you're dealing with amateurs. So it often doesn't work. Limiting it to officials keeps it simple.
In the NBA, for the most part, fixing is shaving points to fix point spreads for gamblers. But at playoff time, it can also entail adjusting the game to help a team win to extend a series. Obviously, for TV networks, a six-or-seven game series is preferable to a four-game sweep or a five-game series. The longer the series, the more money for everybody. The networks downplay that or point out that's not true, but that's crap. The longer the series the more money for everybody. Period.
In the playoffs, in certain critical series, there are covert ways for refs to get orders to quietly do what they can to help underdogs. This doesn't go on in every game, just certain games in certain series..
Over the years a very small percentage of NBA refs have been working with gamblers, who have, here and there, leaked info that the NBA, at times, has also ordered adjustments in certain playoff games. My info comes from two sources that are close to three veteran gamblers.
The NBA isn't stupid. They have a whole network of checks and balances set up to spot fixes. The bad gays, though, are way ahead of the good guys. It's like in sports where there are tests to spot doping. The tests are always several steps behind, so it's tough catching the cheaters.
Here's a key point. Fixing an NBA game isn't always possible. Let's say, if the fix is on in five games, in two of them, it doesn't get done. Sometimes a ref looking to influence a game can't do it because the adjustments would be too obvious.
One way that refs can fix a game is by making the game look like it's sloppily refereed overall. In the context of many bad calls, it's easier to execute a fix. But if a ref is involved in too many badly called games, that hurts his record and may keep him from being assigned to important games. So fixers have to be careful with this tactic.
Game six of this Warriors-Cavaliers series was, from an officiating standpoint, a mess. Some of the calls were atrocious. Cleveland needed that win to tie the series and force a game seven. They got it. Some calls severely damaged the Warriors. Specifically, Steph Curry was in foul trouble the whole game, which effected his play, and eventually got him kicked out.
Some Warrior fans, even Golden Sate coach Steve Kerr, insist some of the calls against Curry were bogus.
Were they just bad calls or part of a fix? It's hard to say. But if it was a fix, it was nicely done.
Posted by Dennis Hunt at 2:51 PM