The NBA has announced the referees who will be working Game 3 of the NBA finals : Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennett Salvatore. According to NBAstuffer.com, Crawford and Salvatore will be officiating their 12th playoff game this season, the most of any refs. It will be the 10th postseason game for Kennedy.
Of refs whistling the road team for fouls in the playoffs, Crawford’s crews have been among the leaders (seventh-most at 54 percent). In regards to fouls called per playoff game, Crawford’s and Kennedy’s crews have ranked toward the bottom, with Salvatore’s groups residing in the top half.
Also, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to talk about the NBA finals. Donaghy was asked what we should expect from Crawford, Kennedy and Salvatore in Tuesday night’s Game 3. “I think it brings some aggressive refereeing to get some of these illegal screens and some of this matchup trouble cleaned up with some aggressive whistles,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of illegal screens called, where Ray Allen  was getting free in Los Angeles a lot, some of the the big guys setting some moving picks, I think you’re going to see those cleaned up early. And I also think you’re going to see a lot of fouls on Allen and [Derek] Fisher to get that matchup cleaned up early.”
Donaghy said Kobe Bryant’s prediction that he won’t get five fouls again is an accurate one. “I don’t think you’re going to see him in foul trouble again for a long, long time,” Donaghy said.
Asked whether the league wants to make sure there are no fights in this series, Donaghy said that’s clearly the officials’ strategy. “Absolutely,” he said. “Any time you’re involved in a fight in an NBA game, it causes an enormous amount of controvery and trouble. On the global stage of the NBA finals, you certainly don’t want players going at it. I think that’s why you’ve seen so many fouls recently and trying to get rid of the physical play to avoid that as much as possible.”
Donaghy did not offer a prediction on Tuesday’s game, but he said it’s obvious the NBA would prefer that the series does not end in Boston. “What’s good for the league is that this gets back to Los Angeles,” he said. “With that said, if Los Angeles can win one game out of these three, I think that’s what good for the league.
To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page .