Breakfast Special: Scott Foster’s Rigged Game 3 Adventure

I risk sounding like yet another angry NBA casual when I complain about the officiating, but even in double overtime, 60 fouls, Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, and Giannis Antetokounmpo all watching Game of Thrones on their tablets while their teammates play a basketball game that completely screwed up the East Coast’s HBO viewing (even the second most-popular sports league in America knew better than to try and mess with the biggest TV finale since Seinfeld)…

…well, let’s just say Scott Foster should never, ever be allowed to officiate a playoff game again, because the only thing more puzzling than the 60 whistles was the array of non-calls in critical moments that made fans of both teams say “oh, so THAT isn’t a foul?”

If the league was trying to rig the series and get it back to Milwaukee for at least a Game 5, they ultimately succeeded, but nothing is funnier than the two free throws Pascal Siakam missed right at the end of regulation to leave the door open for Khris Middleton to send the game to overtime before Toronto finally won 118-112 in double-overtime.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a wacky stat line in this one—just 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field and 2-of-7 (!) from the line, but 23 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, eight turnovers, and those six fouls.

That is whiplash in the extreme in terms of quality of play, but if the Bucks hadn’t shot themselves in the foot on a constant basis from the free throw line (22-of-33 from the game, missing 11 charity tosses in a game where one shot could’ve gotten them out of regulation with a win), we wouldn’t be talking about Foster or about this series going back to Milwaukee.

Kawhi Leonard brought the heroics, playing 52 minutes on a busted leg, scoring 36 points on 11-of-25 shooting, somehow having the energy to throw down a pair of monster jams in the second extra frame, and leading a Raptors team that got 25 out of Siakam (who was spared the Nick Anderson-sized dent in his reputation when his team avenged his choke in regulation) and a 16-point, 12-rebound, 7-assist star turn out of Marc Gasol.

Meanwhile, Nick Nurse took a lot of heat for playing Fred VanVleet crunch-time minutes, and rightly so. VanVleet was atrocious. He scored just three points on 1-of-11 shooting (missing three two-pointers to go with his 12.5 percent shooting from three) in 31 minutes.

In Game 1, Milwaukee played like trash and won anyway. In Game 3, Milwaukee played like trash, got caned by the referees in what smelled like a league-influenced result, and almost won anyway. It’s not a good sign for the Raptors that this is what they’ve made out of this series so far, but it might augur even worse for the Bucks, who aren’t going to get a Toronto team that is beneath them in the NBA Finals.

They’re going to get a Warriors team in 2017 Mode that will have Kevin Durant back. It’s hard to see the Bucks winning a game the way things are going.

The thrilling finish that stretched across 10 minutes of free basketball:

Kawhilights from a guy who would like to remind everyone that he’s the heart and soul of his team:

And Siakam, when he’s not missing free throws:

Monday night, the Warriors finish off Portland in an anticlimactic finish. What, you expected differently? The Blazers had Game 3 in the bag and suffered a 29-point second half swing that surprised exactly nobody. You expect them to win Game 4?

Highlights tomorrow. Breakfast now. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!