Playoff Games: 6
Home Team win % in playoffs: .667
Fouls called per game: 43.8
Percent of calls on Road Team: 48.3%
Technical fouls called per game: 1.4
Crawford has been officiating games since 1977 and has officiated more play-off games and NBA Finals Games than any other active referee. There is no shortage of controversy surrounding Joey Crawford, the biggest of which was a suspension for tossing Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench and then challenging him to a fight. He is known for his quickness to call technical fouls but also doesn't tend to be influenced by the home crowd as much as many other refs seem to be. In the 2008 Playoffs, Crawford was chosen to officiate Game 4 of the Western Conference final between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers. In the closing seconds of the game, there was a no-call where the Spurs' Brent Barry was unquestionably fouled by Derek Fisher. Crawford was the closest official to the call, and the NBA later apologized for the lack of a call but that was too late to reverse the outcome of the game. Crawford was also one of the refs who was involved in the income tax evasion convictions and was suspended at that time as well. And in the Suns 2010 first round against the Blazers, Crawford made what was possibly the worst foul call of all time when he called Marcus Camby for a foul and put Steve Nash on the line. Camby was nowhere near Nash, but that didn't stop Craawford from calling the foul on him. (video evidence below)
Perhaps the most notable example of Crawford's poor officiating was last season's Game 7 between the Celtics and Lakers. With Boston leading going into the 4th quarter, Crawford and his cronies completely changed their style of officiating. For 3 quarters, the game was called loosely and they were letting the players play. Suddenly in the 4th quarter, they began to call it tight and all the questionable calls went to the Lakers with the result being a 21-6 4th quarter free throw disparity. Joey showed his quick technical trigger when he called 7 T's in the OKC/Clippers game, most of which were ridiculous. The Celtics are 4-2 this season, including game 2 against the Knicks when the Celtics shot 16 free throws to 27 for the Knicks, and 5-5 in their last 10 games with Crawford as a referee. The Heat are 3-4 this season, including the game 4 loss to the Sixers in the first round. Crawford is one of the few refs who doesn't appear to be affected by the home crowd with a home W/L record that is fairly even at 38-31. He also is one of the few refs who calls a higher percentage of fouls against the home team. He is quick to call techs so the Celtics must keep their composure.
Playoff Games: 5
Home Team win % in playoffs: .800
Fouls called per game: 44.2
Percent of calls on Road Team: 53.4%
Technical fouls called per game: 0.2
Phillips has been in the league for 8 years. He has officiated 380+ regular season games. This is Phillips' second season officiating in the playoffs. Before landing in the NBA he worked for the CBA 6 seasons, the WNBA 3 seasons, 2 years in the Dallas Pro-Am, and 5 seasons in high school level in Texas. The Celtics are 2-2 this season and they are 6-4 over their last 10 games with Phillips as a ref. It was Phillips and crew in the Celtics loss at Houston that got Tommy to swear on the air about the refs falling for all the blank blank flops. In the loss at Atlanta, he ignored a charge directly in front of him that would have given the C's the ball with 10 seconds remaining. In that game Atlanta took 10 more free throws than the Celtics. He was on the crew that officiated game 1 of the Knicks series. The Heat are 2-3 this season and 7-3 with Phillips over their last 10. He is pretty much a homer ref, calling a higher percentage of the fouls on the road team and with a homer W/L record of 45/28.
Playoff Games: 3 as lead official, 2 as crew
Home Team win % in playoffs: .667 as lead official, .000 as crew
Fouls called per game: 41.3 as lead, 41.5 as crew
Percent of calls on Road Team: 46.8% as lead, 49.4 as crew
Technical fouls called per game: 1.0 as lead, .5 as crew
Willard has officiated over 1,100+ regular season games and 75+ play-off games. Willard also officiated the 1992 Japanese Opening Games in Yokohama. Before working for the NBA he accumulated 4 years of CBA officiating experience, 7 years in college level and 22 years in high school level in California. He called a technical on Yao Ming in a game in 2007 for saying "ahhhh" after a dunk. He is known for being wildly inconsistent in calling charges/blocks. Willard was also on duty in what Bill Simmons called the most atrociously officiated game of the 2007 playoffs. Of course, much of that could have been Donaghy who was betting on the game and Rush who is completely incompetent. Here is Simmons' description of that "atrociously" called game:
Congratulations to Greg Willard, Tim Donaghy and Eddie F. Rush for giving us the most atrociously officiated game of the playoffs so far: Game 3 of the Suns-Spurs series. Bennett Salvatore, Tom Washington and Violet Palmer must have been outraged that they weren't involved in this mess. Good golly. Most of the calls favored the Spurs, but I don't even think the refs were biased -- they were so incompetent that there was no rhyme or reason to anything that was happening.
Willard has only officiated 2 games for the Celtics this season and that was a home win against Atlanta where the Celtics shot 11 free throws to 24 for Atlanta and a home win over Detroit in which the free throws were even at 17 and they let them play throughout the game. The Celtics are 8-2 in their last 10 games with Willard. The Heat are 6-1 this season and 9-1 in their last 10 games with Willard The only loss was against the Thunder in which the Heat shot 8 more free throws than OKC. He is a homer ref with a home W/L record of 46-22.