How can they suck when they understand the mission? By saying they suck, you deny that there is a pattern and purpose. None of the the people in the league, or the experts who cover the NBA deny that a pattern and purpose is part of the NBA. The problem is that when the rules of basketball so obviously conflict with the purpose the refs face, then the very brand of the NBA is at risk. The Miami Heat as a successful dominate team generate interest in the NBA. However, if emperor Stern has woven a new suit of clothes and the team which was going to be dominant is not yet worthy.....well then you have the Bulls and Pacer series where the refs interjected different results than the average child watching would expect......but but Mr. Ref......the emperor has no clothes.
Now an aging not very good Spurs team who had a dysfunctional Lakers team melt, an injured OK team fade, and a better grizzlies team fight the league nightmare of a Pacer/Grizzly series......nope, the Spurs probably will not win game one because of the lay off.....however, this should go 6 or 7 games because Miami is simply not that good in current NBA context, and certainly not very good in historical context.