Storyline: Officiating Complaints

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While this is nothing new, on Thursday Wall revealed for the first time that he views himself similarly to LeBron James in this aspect. “I think I get the same treatment as LeBron gets when he drives,” Wall said ahead of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal round. “I think I’m too big and physical, so guys bounce off me and they think I’m supposed to play through it, so I just keep playing and, like, coach tells me, don’t worry about it. Just try to finish plays without worrying about the fouls. So that’s all I can do.”

Brooks delivered the line like he did not want to discuss the officiating. But he returned to the topic later, unprovoked, to share a desire for the Celtics to keep their hands off Bradley Beal. The shooting guard scored just 14 points on 4-for-15 shooting and committed six turnovers. He also missed some critical shots, including a potential game-winner at the end of regulation. “We have to do a better job of getting their hands off of him, one,” Brooks said. “If they’re going to allow him to be guarded that way we’ve got to make some adjustments ourselves. We’re going to look at the film and try to figure out how to get their hands off him. You’re not allowed to do that, but we have to figure out how to get some better looks for him. But that’s part of something we have to figure that out as a staff.”

If there’s one thing Stern doesn’t love – never has, and never will – it’s the chronic complaints from coaches about officiating this time of year. Here’s looking at you David Fizdale and Fred Hoiberg. “(It’s) really just a modern version of what a coach tries to do to inspire his players and attempt to influence the officiating,” Stern said. “That’s as old as Pat Riley and Phil Jackson (doing it) back in the day. If the moon is up during the playoffs – (if it’s not) on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon – the coaches will be baying at the moon and at the officiating.
5 months ago via ESPN

The NBA said Monday that two crucial traveling violations went uncalled in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round closeout win in Game 4 over the Indiana Pacers. According to the league’s Last Two Minute Report, LeBron James moved his pivot foot at the start of his dribble before sinking a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Cavs’ 106-102 win. Indiana’s Paul George had a shot at a potential tying 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining that the league also determined should not have counted because George also moved his pivot foot before starting his dribble.

The facts of NBA life, as explained by Nelson and other former coaches Bleacher Report interviewed, may be universally accepted, but Fizdale’s assertion that Gregg Popovich’s pedigree gives his team an unfair advantage over a team with a first-year coach is dangerous, according to P.J. Carlesimo. The former head coach, and Popovich’s top assistant from 2002-07, cautioned Fizdale about making his complaint seem personal. “‘Fiz’ is treading on very, very thin ice,” Carlesimo said. “To even imply that the officials ref the Spurs differently, or Kawhi differently, is not a good place to go. I don’t know what he intended, but if he is implying the officials are not being fair because it’s Kawhi vs. Zach [Randolph] or David Fizdale vs. Gregg Popovich, that’s not something you want to be even hinting at.”

Anyone who expects a dramatic reversal of officiating fortunes in Thursday’s Game 3 at FedEx Forum may want to lower expectations. “It will have zero effect on officiating,” Carlesimo said. “Every crew, even in the first round, will have officials who have worked hundreds of playoff games, and the chance of their being swayed by a coach’s comments or what is written in the press is zero. They are above it. It’s the way it should be. The league has their back, and they could care less what is said.

Those numbers only got bigger in the second half, as the Grizzlies shot 35 times in the paint but only took 15 free throws, while the Spurs shot 18 times in the paint yet took 32 free throws. Fizdale became increasingly unhappy as spoke, saying, “Kawhi shot more free throws than our whole team. Explain it to me.” If you were thinking that Fizdale may be teetering on if he’ll get a fine or not, this part should end that discussion. “It’s unfortunate that I got a guy like Mike Conley who in whole career has zero technical fouls. He just cannot seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves. We don’t get the respect that these guys deserve because Mike Conley doesn’t go crazy. He has class, and he just plays the game, but I’m not gonna let them treat us that way. I know Pop has pedigree and I’m a young rookie but they’re not gonna ‘rook’ us. That’s unacceptable that was unprofessional. My guys dug in that game and earned to be in that game but they did not even give us a chance. Take that for data.”

After the game, George went off on the officials. You can see the video above via, but here are the highlights. “I mean, y’all know how I feel about the officials, and tonight I really have no faith in them. I’ve been warning them all night what he’s going to do, stuff he’s doing, and they allowed this s— to go on. He was throwing jabs, throwing punches at my stomach all night, and I didn’t retaliate until late in the game when they weren’t doing s— about it. So he pulled me down, I get a double tech for doing nothing. And then throw an elbow at my neck, I get another tech for nothing. So I really don’t have no respect, nothing is there for the officiating. S—– officiating job… “It was physical all night. And again, they didn’t do nothing after I warned them a couple of times of what’s going on. They did nothing about it, nothing about it. It’s crazy.”
6 months ago via ESPN

After failing to protect a 26-point fourth-quarter lead in their 126-125 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, several members of the Cleveland Cavaliers found fault in the officials for contributing to their collapse. “It wasn’t a foul on my sixth foul,” said LeBron James, who fouled out with 1:52 remaining in overtime and the Cavs up by three, for contact with Atlanta’s Paul Millsap while jostling for rebounding position. “I knew I had five [fouls]. I knew the ball was going long. So I may have grazed Millsap a little bit, but I mean, throughout the course of a game [that happens]. I didn’t push him or anything like that.”
6 months ago via ESPN

James was asked to share the explanation that Richardson gave him for turning down his timeout request. “He told me that I’m not allowed to call timeout because he didn’t know who had possession of the ball,” James said. “And I was the one who entered the ball to Kyrie. And as soon as I seen Millsap go trap Kyrie in the short corner, I looked at him and called timeout twice — at least twice — and he wasn’t even paying me no attention. And that’s when the jump ball happened. I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘I can’t call timeout because I don’t know who has possession of the ball. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know the tie up.’ I said, ‘That doesn’t make any sense because we have the ball. I entered the ball to Kyrie, so you shouldn’t even be worried about the tie up or not. I’m calling it as soon as I saw Kyrie is getting tied up in the corner.’ So I’ve never heard that one before. I’ve never heard that explanation before in my life.”

But when asked about the officiating after the game, Kyrie Irving had one question before answering: ““How much is the fine for talking about the refs?” “How much is the fine for talking about the refs?” Kyrie wanted clarity before deciding whether to discuss key calls that hurt the @cavs. — FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) April 9, 2017 Is it like, 50? 25? Not worth it,” he said. “Not worth it.I had some good conversation with the refs, and, you know, just a few plays that didn’t go our way. That’s not the first step that led to the breakdown of what happened in that fourth quarter.”

Irving, who was incensed when Richardson called him for the charge late in overtime, when asked for his thoughts on that call and the jump ball asked how much in would cost him in fines from the NBA to answer the question. “How much is the fine for talking about the refs,” Irving began. “It’s like 50 (thousand dollars), 25 (thousand)? Not worth it. Not worth it, so, sorry. I had some good conversation with the refs. Just a few plays that didn’t go our way.”

In an interview on The Vertical podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey went on the record with some of his complaints with how the Jazz are officiated, including some more concrete data from the league’s confidential reports that cover the entire 48 minutes of every NBA game. “The data does tell us at times, that when we’re grabbed, held, pushed or pulled, it’s about every third or fourth game that it’s not appropriately called, we’ll suffer from what’s called a high-discrepancy game, which we define as a margin of four or more missed calls in either direction,” Lindsey explained. “Over a three-year period, the high-discrepancy games were 12-72 against us,” Lindsey said.

“I had to get this bandaged up because I’m bleeding and the ref told me ‘that’s not a foul,’” Wall said. “It’s getting out of hand. If you want us to compete at a high level like we’ve been doing – we didn’t lose this game. The refs made us lose this game. We fought hard, we gave ourselves a chance but you don’t shoot no 31 free throws to 16 the way we attack the basket as a team. That’s how I feel about it. I tried to get some (technical fouls) rescinded before, it never works for my favor. Other players have and they got it. So, all I can do is just keep my mouth shut like I’ve been doing. I could see if I would’ve got a flagrant-1 but a technical off of that? That’s outrageous.”
6 months ago via ESPN

Officials reviewed the play and did not deem it a flagrant foul. “This is the second time in a week my lip gets split open and I got elbowed in the face,” Anderson said. “This has been a week of me getting hit in the face. It’s a part of it. It’s good. “I want to be physical. With DeMarcus, he’s a guy, he’s such an elite player, when he gets frustrated it’s when he’s at his worst. It’s part of the game plan to get DeMarcus frustrated and the moment he realizes that he’ll be that much better of a player. You want to get into him. You want to make him frustrated and that’s what I tried to do tonight. If it takes a few hits to the face, that’s what it takes.”

Dwight Howard is clearly frustrated. The Hawks center was assessed a technical foul in the third quarter after game officials reviewed contact between him and Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic. Referee Marc Davis questioned whether there was a “hostile act” when Howard’s arm went behind him after he followed a shot attempt in close to the basket. Nurkic fell to the ground. Davis ruled a technical foul citing Howard “flailed” his arm and made contact in a “physical taunt.”

On the technical foul: “I just think it was B.S. to be honest with you. I can’t sit up here and sugarcoat it. Player taunting. Me hitting someone in the chest. It shouldn’t be even reviewed. It should be going down on the next play and getting ready to play defense. Instead it was reviewed and said that I hit him in the face. You go look at the replay and it’s nowhere near his face. I don’t like it. Everybody should be treated the same way on the floor. No matter how strong you are, big you are, small you are, whatever it is. It’s NBA. It’s no boys allowed. We are all grown men out there. You have to be able to play out there.”
7 months ago via ESPN

As bizarre as that exchange was, Green wouldn’t be outdone. He waited for approximately 45 minutes before addressing the media. “That’s a long time,” he said. “I contemplated for a long time whether I was just going to give the 25-[thousand dollars] up and wash my hands with it. I’m going to go buy myself a nice watch tonight with that $25,000 I thought about spending tonight. I’m going to post it on Twitter. Not Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. I’m going to go buy myself a nice gift for the discipline I showed tonight.”

Pacers coach Nate McMillan got it right Wednesday night when he said Kawhi Leonard traveled just before sinking the game-winning basket in the Spurs’ 100-99 win, the NBA said Thursday. “I thought he traveled before he took that shot,” McMillan told reporters. Following a timeout with 8.5 seconds left — after Monta Ellis missed a pair of free throws — Leonard swished a fadeaway jumper over fellow All-Star Paul George at the 2.4-second mark to give the Spurs the lead by the final score.

On Thursday, the NBA concluded Leonard’s shot should not have counted, saying the refs made an “incorrect non-call” with 4.4 seconds left. “Leonard gathers the ball with his right hand and establishes his left foot as his pivot,” according to the report. “He then switches to his right foot prior to the shot attempt.” But the Pacers also got away with a travel when guard Jeff Teague moved his pivot foot with 23.8 seconds left, according to the report. The Pacers, of course, only focused on the missed call against Leonard.
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September 24, 2017 | 11:15 pm EDT Update