"This never ends well": Mavericks fans anxious over referee assignment in WCF Game 3 matchup against Wolves

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Dallas Mavericks fans anxious ahead of Game 3 matchup with Minnesota Timberwolves after referee assignments

Dallas Mavericks fans seem to be quite on edge regarding Sunday's Game 3 matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. With the series headed back to Dallas, the stakes couldn't be higher for both teams as they look to advance to the NBA Finals. In the case of Luka Doncic and the Mavs, the team will look to continue their recent run and extend their series lead to 3-0.

On the flip side, the Minnesota Timberwolves will look to bounce back after a narrow NBA Playoffs Game 2 loss at home while attempting to stop Dallas' momentum. Ahead of the game, referee assignments have been posted.

Sunday night's Referee Assignment sheet lists Tony Brothers as the Crew Chief, with Ben Taylor serving as the Referee. Moreover, Curtis Blair is listed as the Umpire, with Nick Buchert on-hand as the alternate.

Dallas Mavericks fans seem to be incredibly anxious about Tony Brothers being listed as the Crew Chief. After the referee assignments were posted on NBA.com, fans shared their reactions online. As some indicated, Brothers' no-nonsense attitude could add an interesting dynamic to Game 3.

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The Mavericks Fan For Life page posted a screenshot of Brothers being listed as the Crew Chief, sparking myriad reactions from Mavs fans.

"This never ends well" - @JSapoznikov (Twitter/X)
"We are losing tonight, gotta make up for the no call foul on Kai that went out of bounds and they reversed the call" - @Stevek1973 (Twitter/X)
"Minnesota needs all help necessary" - @Mrbobbywitt (Twitter/X)

Other fans indicated that the league may be attempting to stave off a sweep.

"Silver dont wanna see us sweep them' - @FCBJarno (Twitter/X)
"Sweeps aren’t good for league revenue." - @IgorsuperPC (Twitter/X)
"Silver making sure that his next face of the league doesn’t get swept." - @Rish7Sinha (Twitter/X)

Other fans posted memes to reflect how they feel about the situation.

Looking at the Dallas Mavericks' record with Tony Brothers officiating in recent years

While many Mavs fans are unhappy with Tony Brothers being the Crew Chief for Sunday's game, stats indicate that his role may not have an impact. Basketball-Reference.com keeps a running log of how teams perform year after year with each referee calling games.

In the 2021-22 regular season, Tony Brothers refereed six games for the team, who went 3-3, with the Mavs attempting 28.2 free throws a game. On the flip side, opposing teams averaged 21.8 free throws per game.

The next season, Brothers refereed just two games for the Dallas Mavericks, with the team again splitting wins and losses at 1-1. This season, the Mavs averaged 22.5 free throws in games officiated by Brothers, while opposing teams averaged 25.5, balancing out the year before.

This season, Brothers has refereed six games for the Mavs, with the team splitting wins and losses for the third-straight year, at 3-3. Over the regular season, the team averaged 19.0 free throw attempts per game, while opponents averaged 25.0 under Brothers.

As some NBA fans pointed out, though, the Mavericks have also won postseason games this year with Brothers officiating. Given that, it's unclear whether his presence poses any advantage for Minnesota in tonight's highly anticipated Game 3.

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