Alexander declined to give any detail beyond he was “upset … really upset.” Rockets guard James Harden said he didn’t see his owner get up. “He did that?” a surprised Harden said after the game. “He’s the coolest guy. I would have helped him.”
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.