Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Ken Mauer is not impressed, young whippersnappers. Not impressed at all. In fact, look at him: he's disgusted. And if it happens again? Well, we'll just have to cross that bridge when it comes. In the meantime, I suggest you get good use out of those internal organs. Cherish that kidney, rook.

What's got Kenny so riled up? His second rate backups, the NBA's replacement referees. They caused some confusion in the first quarter of Detroit's preseason win over Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova(notes) was fouled while shooting a jumper and awarded two foul shots. More than 90 seconds later, during the next timeout, the officials decided that he was attempting a three-pointer and gave him another free throw.

Sounds harmless enough, right?

This is where Kenny loses it.

Ilyasova made the shot, but Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince(notes) pointed out that the error is only correctable within 24 seconds and the point was taken away from the Bucks.

"I told him that they couldn't change it after five minutes or whatever it was, and he said 'yeah, you're right,'" Prince told the AP. "Then I had to remind him to tell the scorer's table to take it back off the board."

The mistake marked the second game in a row replacement officials botched a routine free-throw procedure ... and we're just talking about games in Detroit.

On Monday, in a game between the Pistons and Heat, the refs failed to whistle a dead ball after Ben Wallace(notes) tossed up an air ball on a free-throw attempt. Then, later, they allowed Will Bynum(notes), a career 77.8% shooter from the stripe, to shoot free throws for good ol' Maceo Baston(notes). The Heat complained, points were removed, fingers were pointed.

But let's cut to the chase. Are the replacement refs doing a decent enough job filling in for the pros? No, not really. There have been way too many blown calls and 70+ fouls/100+ free throws games for my liking.

But does anybody care right now, considering it's the preseason? Also, no, not really.

Let's just hope Stern and Co. get this figured out by October 27th.

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