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Ref/nemesis Danny Crawford in Dallas

DALLAS -- Six words that should seriously concern Dallas Mavericks fans: Danny Crawford is working Game 2.

The Mavs have a 2-16 record in playoff games that Crawford works. That includes a six-game losing streak that began with Game 3 of the 2006 Finals, when the Miami Heat rallied from a 13-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter.

Dallas' lone win in the last 17 Mavs playoff games worked by Crawford came in Game 5 of the 2006 West finals, when Dirk Nowitzki scored a franchise-record 50 points.

Crawford will be the lead official of a crew that includes Pat Fraher and Ed Malloy. That crew's assignment to Game 2 of the Dallas-Portland series comes on the heels of Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan being fined $35,000 for publicly commenting on the Game 1 officiating, particularly the lopsided free throw disparity in Dallas' favor.

STUCK IN THEIR CRAW

The Dallas Mavericks are 2-16 in playoff games officiated by Danny Crawford. The Mavericks are 4-14 against the spread in playoff games refereed by Crawford since 2001 compared to 47-41-1 vs the spread in all other playoff games in that span (according to information from Covers.com). The reason this is important is that the spread is essentially one of the best ways to look at what a team is expected to do in a game. Historically, the spread has been shown to be an accurate predictor of what happens in a game – that is, teams are generally .500 against the spread over large samples of games. Therefore, the fact that the Mavericks seem to underperform compared to expectations (as proxied by the spread) in games reffed by Crawford is possibly more compelling evidence than the 2-16 overall record.