Referees Rumors

Tonight’s Game 5 referees are Monty McCutchen, James Capers, and Jason Phillips, which is about as solid a crew as you’re going to get until the NBA loads it up if there’s a Game 7 next Friday. If you’ve been following the playoffs, you know that this is also a relatively good draw for the Warriors, because the NBA’s other option for the lead in this game was Scott Foster, who is a very good ref but one stat is eye-catching right now. Road teams are 11-1 with Foster calling the game in this year’s playoffs, including Game 2 of the NBA finals, when Cleveland won at Oracle. Foster also called Game 2 of the Memphis series, which the Warriors also lost at Oracle. (And Game 3 in both the New Orleans and Houston series, when the Warriors won on the road both times.) With this rotation, Foster is now set up to call Game 6 at Cleveland–so the Warriors would not only avoid Foster at Oracle, they are likely get him in Cleveland… double-whammy there for the Cavaliers, if you believe in these stats.
Officials blew four calls near the end of the Cavs’ 95-93 overtime victory against the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the league announced Monday. LeBron James was indeed fouled by Andre Iguodala with 1:37 left in overtime, the league acknowledged, although the report conceded James should’ve been called for a travel on the same play.
The NBA’s review of Dwight Howard’s contact with Andrew Bogut concluded that it did not rise to the level of excessive because Howard was trying to free himself from a tie-up with Bogut, president of basketball operations Rod Thorn told CBSSports.com Tuesday. “It was a very close call as far as I’m concerned,” Thorn said. “As Bogut is holding his arm down, Howard tries to extricate his arm. He doesn’t hit him with his elbow, by the way. He hits him with the back of his hand, maybe a touch of the wrist. To me, it was unnecessary, but I didn’t think it was excessive.”
Horford, who was leading the Hawks with 14 points and had four rebounds at the time of the play, said he told referee Ken Mauer that he thought Dellavedova was diving at his legs. “If it was on purpose or not we don’t know, maybe it wasn’t on purpose,” Horford said. “But with (Dellavedova’s) track record, I just felt like it was. And again, on my part it was very, very poor judgement.”
Horford responded to the contact by elbowing Dellavedova. Following a referee review, Horford was assessed a flagrant 2 foul and ejected and Dellavedova received a technical foul. Referee Ken Mauer, the crew chief for the game, told a pool reporter Horford received a flagrant 2 because, “He made contact above the shoulders, to the shoulder and head area, of Dellavedova.”
LeBron James, sharing the postgame podium with Matthew Dellavedova following the Cavaliers’ 114-111 overtime win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, vehemently defended the point guard against any suggestion that Dellavedova is a dirty player. “I’m a little bit off about it because this is my guy, this is my teammate and this is a guy that goes out and works his tail off every single night and people are trying to give him a bad rap,” James said. “He doesn’t deserve it and I don’t like it.”
The call had a direct impact on the game which the Cavaliers won 114-111 in overtime on Sunday. Cleveland took a 3-0 series lead and can sweep Atlanta in Game 4 on Tuesday. Atlanta’s Shelvin Mack missed two three-point attempts in the final 4.9 seconds. But two topics, and one more than the other, will dominate the conversation until then: — LeBron James, who missed his first 10 shots and 16 of his first 19, registered his 12th career playoff triple-double, scoring 37 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and delivering 13 assists. He scored Cleveland’s final five points in overtime, including a go-ahead three-pointer, and altered Jeff Teague’s potential go-ahead shot with 31 seconds left in overtime.
Clearly frustrated, the Hawks channeled their inner Detroit Piston Bad Boys. Big man Pero Antic decided the best defense against The Chosen One was shoving him to the floor. Somehow, Reggie Miller thought it wasn’t a flagrant foul. The whole taking-out-the-best-player-in-mid-air approach only made ‘Bron more angry. James finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists — just barely missing a triple-double — in the Cavaliers’ 94-82 victory.
Dellavedova made the Cavs as an undrafted rookie before last season after leaving Saint Mary’s as the school’s all-time scoring and assist leader. He fought his way into the Cavs rotation — last season under coach Mike Brown and this season under coach David Blatt — by playing solid defense and providing relentless effort. His tangle with Gibson was not his first. Wild guess alert. It probably won’t be his last. “Physical, but never cheap,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said of Dellavedova. “He’s been in some scraps before. He’s gotten under some skin, but I never saw him do anything cheap. “The leadership, basketball IQ and toughness are things he brought every single day for us for four years. He just wants to win. That’s all he ever cared about. And he’s very loyal. I know it’s a different team than his first year but he’s grateful the Cavs gave him an opportunity. Him knowing he’s appreciated by LeBron and those guys, that’s just going to drive him (further) to do whatever he can to help them win.”
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The NBA retroactively assessed a technical foul to Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova for his role in the altercation Tuesday that led to Taj Gibson’s ejection with 10 minutes, 25 seconds left in Game 5. Gibson’s flagrant-2 foul didn’t get downgraded, which means he has three points for two flagrant fouls during the postseason. Another flagrant would trigger an automatic suspension — one game for a flagrant-1 and two for a flagrant-2. “Still don’t understand it,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Gibson’s ejection. “It was a nothing play.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers, an influential member of the competition committee, has said repeatedly during the playoffs that he believes the rule will be changed for next season. One league source told CBSSports.com earlier this month that he estimated the chances of a rule change to discourage teams from intentionally fouling away from the ball at 85 percent. But teams that were against changing the rule became more entrenched after the numbers on intentional fouling were divulged Wednesday, and those that were on the fence heard nothing to change their minds. “It’s part of the game,” one of the executives said. “You need to make your free throws.”

No consensus among GMs to change Hack-a-Shaq rule

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At the annual meeting of NBA general managers Wednesday in Chicago, there was no overwhelming consensus to change the rules to discourage teams from intentionally fouling poor free-throw shooters, league sources told CBSSports.com. “There is not enough support to change it,” one executive in the meeting said. “It’s one of those perception is bigger than reality issues.”