Brief History Of The World Of Danny Crawford

True fact: Up until recently, the official bio photo of Danny Crawford on the NBA website portrayed him embroiled in a Mavs argument. He must be so proud … of the fact that when he refs a Dallas playoff game, as he is to do tonight, the Mavs are 2-16. Here's a history lesson on Crawford and the Mavs from, which first studied and revealed this phenomenon two years ago:


*The Dallas Mavericks are 2-16, and losers of 16 of 17, when referee Dan Crawford works their playoff games.

*Tonight's lead official for Mavs-Blazers is …Crawford. (Opinion: This seems purposeful by the NBA, right? If knew about this two years ago, surely Chancellor Stern knew … and knows.)

*Besides the Mavs being 2-16 in playoff games officiated by Crawford since the 2001 season. ... In all other playoff games since 2001 they are 48-41.

*Average point differential in that time-frame: With Crawford: minus-7.7; Without Crawford: plus-0.9

*He's officiated four elimination games; Dallas has lost all four.

*In 2009, when the Mavs were preparing to take on the Nuggets in Round 2, we pointed out before Game 1 that in Mavs playoffs games worked by Crawford from 2001-to-2005, the Mavs record was 0-8. (Those years, Dallas was 41-37 in games NOT worked by Crawford.)

*The Mavs won a first-round playoff game against Utah with Crawford working. Since then comes the 16 losses in 17 outings.

*The notable Mavs win under Crawford's watch was in the 2006 Phoenix series, a Dallas blowout victory in which Dirk scored 50. (Opinion: If The UberMan scores 50, not even Danny Crawford can influence the outcome.)

*Also in 2006, in the NBA Finals, guess who worked Game 3 against the Heat, when Dwyane Wade was allowed to shoot as many FTs (18) as the entire Mavs team made, all leading to Dallas' two-point loss? That would be Danny Crawford.

And in Game 6, when the Mavs lost by three points?And Wade shot 21 free throws, two fewer than the number shot by the entire Mavs team?

Danny Crawford strikes again. … and again. … and again.

(Opinion: This is where the criticism gets sticky. We can make fun of the TrailBitchers' problems with the breaks given/earned by Dallas in this year's Game 1, but seriously, guys … we feel your pain. We feel it, want you to endure more of it, but instinctively know that tonight, Danny Crawford is the sadist.)

Think about it: During the bulk of the decade of the 2000's, the Mavs won 59.77 percent of their playoff games. … but when Dan Crawford refs, they win one out of 17?

To close the decade, Dallas' playoff winning percentage without Danny Crawford was 59.77 percent.

As I've said before, it almost makes you wish that the third ref working tonight's game alongside Fraher and Malloy was Tim Donaghy. (Who, by the way, in his book alleges that Danny is indeed aware and proud of his rep as a Mavs nemesis. For what Donaghy's word is worth.)

Worth considering: The Mavs' style doesn't fit Danny's style … or Dallas' failures here have become oh-oh-it's-Danny self-fulfilling prophecies … or the NBA really wants these series to be extended, so Crawford is here not to fix a game but to simply ref a Mavs game as he always refs Mavs games.

It's a shame that a referee is about to become a central figure in an important game. Of course, to Portland and coach Nate McMillan (fined $35,000 for his Game 1 criticism of the zebras), the refs have already played an undue role.

I guess it's good that when you go to his page on the National Basketball Referees Association site, Dan Crawford's official photo has been switched out to something more generic than the one that showed him battling the Mavs.

The photo's changed. Has Danny Crawford?

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