The NBA upheld the two calls Los Angeles Lakers coach F…

The NBA upheld the two calls Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel took exception with in L.A.’s 111-108 Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Friday, but the league did find two other calls that should have gone the Lakers’ way. In its last two-minute report released Saturday, the NBA announced that Jimmy Butler should have been called for a shooting foul on LeBron James with 1:01 remaining in the fourth quarter for extending his arm and making contact with the side of James’ head on a drive to the hoop when L.A. was trailing 105-104. The missed call ended up being inconsequential as James corralled his own miss and laid the ball in to put L.A. up 106-105 with 58.2 seconds left.

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It also determined that with 28 seconds remaining, Miami's Andre Iguodala should have been called for a defensive three-seconds violation for not clearing the lane when not actively guarding an opponent. Again, the no-call did not affect the Lakers as that possession ended with a layup for Anthony Davis to put L.A. up 108-107 with 21.8 seconds left.
NBA Central: Fans are calling for the NBA to look at this Anthony Davis elbow on Jae Crowder JR Smith got suspended for 2 games in 2015 for doing something similar to Jae Crowder
The Lakers made 28 of their 35 free throws, including an 11-for-14 mark by James and a 13-for-14 line by Davis. “I’m going to have to go through the proper channels like they did to see if we can figure out how we can get some more free throws,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone, whose team shot 23 free throws. The Lakers outrebounded the Nuggets 41-33, including 12-6 on the offensive boards. They outscored the Nuggets 25-6 on second-chance points. "That’s really hard to overcome," Malone said.
Asked if the Lakers' tactic of going to the league about foul calls worked, Malone said he didn't know. "I just know they went 35 [times] and we went 23," Malone said. "I think late in the game Jamal Murray attacked the basket a few times where it appeared to be contact. We'll watch the film and send our clips in. We'll reach out to the NBA and kind of make our points noted. Whether them going through the proper channels affected tonight or not, I have no idea. The NBA does a great job of listening. You hope that next game maybe some of those fouls are called."
"Respectfully, obviously, they're trying to do their job," Murray said when asked what kind of feedback he got back from the officials. "I mean, I did get fouled on a few. We could see the replay clearly. The same thing when [Utah Jazz's] Rudy Gobert fouled me when we lost Game 4 [in the first round]. ... My team shows respect any time you talk to them." "LeBron is going to go get his," Murray added. "But we just have to look ahead and play through it. ... We're a young team. We're the younger team, youngest team, whatever we are. Look at where we're at. We're going to have to earn their respect if we're going to want to prevail."
The Lakers have presented a case to the NBA that their star, LeBron James, is not nearly getting his fair share of free throws even though they are positive the hard-charging forward is getting fouled plenty by the Denver Nuggets in their Western Conference finals playoff series. “We’re dealing with the fouls through the proper channels with the league,” coach Frank Vogel told the media via videoconference Wednesday after practice. “I think he’s gone to the basket very aggressively, and I’ll just leave it at that.”
So, I asked, how did Lakers coach Frank Vogel see it after he had watched the film? “We were definitely the aggressors in the game, and the box score I have right here has us with 28 (fouls),” Vogel said. “We got called for 28 fouls. They got called for 26.” It was a savvy stance to take, albeit oversimplified. So as Vogel left his media session to rejoin his team, I admitted to him that I hadn’t noticed that the final fouls tally was in the Nuggets’ favor. “I do my research,” he said with a grin.
After getting dunked on and dissed during a 126-114 loss in Game 1 Friday in the Western Conference finals, it’s obvious that the league regards the Nuggets as little more than props in this Lake Show, starring James and Anthony Davis, who hammered Denver with 37 points. It was so ugly and frustrating the entire fourth quarter stunk like garbage time. “I’m not going to sit here and blame it on the refs. That’s not what I’m doing,” Nuggets guard Jamal Murray said. “We’ve got to play through it and earn their respect.”
A day before Game 7, Nuggets coach Michael Malone cited ESPN’s experts, and mentioned how 19 of them predicted the Clippers would win. Not one said the series would advance to a Game 7. “Nobody wants us here,” Nikola Jokic said in his postgame interview. “Nobody thinks we can do something. We prove ourselves and proved everybody we can do something. Next is Lakers another tough opponent for us. We just have to be out there and having fun.”
On the court, the issue made the Denver Nuggets feel frustrated. Off the court, the issue prompted Nuggets guard Jamal Murray to offer sarcastic laughter and coach Mike Malone to offer sarcastic analysis. After suffering a 126-114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, how do the Nuggets adapt better to whistles? “Just try to play through it. It’s tough,” said Murray, who nearly had has many fouls (four) as assists (five) to go along with 21 points. “They’re going to talk about every call and have conversations and try to manipulate what happens. But you can’t worry about it. It’s going to be we’re the younger team. We’re going to play through it and find a way. We’re not going to go away so easily.”
“They’re not trying to make the wrong call. They are just doing their job,” Murray said. “We’re going to miss shots and they’re going to miss calls. I’m going to make a bad pass, and they might make a bad call. It’s going to happen. There’s no reaction. You play through it. We’ll be all right. I’m not going to sit here and just blame it on the refs. That’s not what I’m doing. You just have to play through it and earn your respect.”
“I’m looking forward to watching the film to see where all these fouls were called,” Malone said. “Obviously in the second half, it evened out. But it was an extreme advantage for the Lakers in that first half. Watch the film and see the fouls that are being called, why they’re being called, should they have been called. Then try to learn from it and get better for it for Game No. 2.”
Jovan Buha: Mike Malone on Patrick Beverley’s flailing comments about Nikola Jokic: “I don’t listen to Patrick Beverley a whole lot. If Kawhi Leonard was talking, maybe I would listen to it. Kawhi’s a great player. ... They shot 26 free throws, we shot 10.”
It was the third time during this postseason that a Rockets player was hit below the belt. Sources told ESPN that the Rockets were upset that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul's jab to Ben McLemore's groin area in overtime of Game 3 of their first round series -- a play extremely similar to Davis' drive -- was not reviewed by the league office. Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni received a technical foul for angrily arguing that the referees should have reviewed the play to determine if it was a flagrant foul, and sources said the Rockets believed a suspension should have been considered for Paul due to his history of similar incidents.
But what happens when a player storms to the sideline certain he didn’t commit a foul? “I try to gauge who it is, meaning how often has he lied to me in the past and how adamant is he about it,” Rivers says. “I mean, I laugh now. I literally laugh. Every game, I see 15 a game, where the players are doing [the finger] and so unless I'm clear visually, I usually just ignore it. I did have one where Kawhi [Leonard], who rarely says something, runs to me and says, ‘I swear I didn't touch him.’ And we challenged it and we won. After the game, I always say, ‘All right. Credible, he's credible, not, not, not, not.’ I mean that's basically what we do. We make fun of it now.”
Often, coaches say, they will rely on instinct. “Sometimes you have to go with your gut, trust your own eyes and what you see out there,” Malone says. And despite their battles with referees, the difficulty of the decision to challenge a call gives some coaches a deeper appreciation for the job. “We sometimes have enough time to look at the video, and my coach is sitting there like, ‘I'm not sure,’” Rivers says. “And think about it, that ref had to make that call in real time. It does make you appreciate the officiating … at least for that moment.”
Tim Hardaway Jr: 😂
Mirjam Swanson: Doc Rivers defends his guy on ESPN's in-game interview: "He got ejected because he's Marcus to be honest. He made a play on the ball and his hand followed through. But we can't worry about that, we have to play better."
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse on the whistle: "It didn't seem to be very good at the start of the game. Just a lot of weird plays." Mentioned a couple costly calls early: Gasol's moving screen, which he watched at halftime and said was clean, and Siakam's 3rd foul, which he called "microscopic".
In Game 3, Paul nails Ben McLemore below the belt and sources say the Rockets were incensed that the league wouldn’t take a closer look at the play seen below. Everyone is aggrieved at this point. What’s more, there’s a strong sense that Paul’s stature within the league — a position that was on full display this week as he led the way in the players’ return to work after the Wednesday walkout — plays a part here. Make up your own mind, but that’s definitely a point of concern in Rockets circles. Especially considering the reality that the NBA is likely on the cusp of some difficult negotiations with the Paul-led National Basketball Players Association this offseason because of these unprecedented circumstances. And yes, if you somehow haven’t heard, Paul has a bit of a history with these sorts of plays.
As for Tucker’s headbutt and the ensuing decision, that was an obvious and necessary call. Sources say the league is investigating that situation, and there could be further discipline coming Tucker’s way. The NBA’s longtime disciplinarian, executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, was sitting front row when this all happened and was glued to his phone after the game was over (Byron Spruell, the president of league operations who oversees this department, is also here).
As Schroder ran through a Tucker screen, he swung his arm between Tucker's legs, catching him below the belt. Tucker, who was whistled for an illegal screen, walked up behind Schroder, yelling at him and eventually head-butting the back of his head. "First thing was, it was obviously an illegal screen. And it was kind of a bang-bang play," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "P.J. obviously after the play was over kind of head-butted Dennis, so they certainly had to eject him, and I didn't know if they felt like they needed to eject Dennis because they ejected P.J. But it was a very quick, aggressive play, and I understand with P.J. getting thrown out maybe they felt like Dennis needed to be thrown out. "But again, it was an illegal screen. I'm not even going to speculate or even know to read Dennis' mind. It was such a bang-bang play, Dennis was just trying to find a way through the screen and got hung up."
Sources told ESPN that the Rockets are upset that the league office did not investigate Paul's Game 3 shot to McLemore's groin and consider disciplinary action. The Rockets want a similar prior incident by Schroder to be considered by the league office in the wake of his shot to Tucker's groin, sources told ESPN.
Harrison Wind: No surprise, but the L2M Report says Rudy Gobert fouled Jamal Murray on his drive to the basket with 26 seconds remaining. Nuggets were down 124-120. “Gobert does not maintain verticality and brings his arm down, making contact with Murray's arm that affects his shot attempt.”
Lillard, who said he tried to ignore the pain of his dislocated left index finger, also reiterated that a free throw discrepancy against a great team is going to make it even more difficult to come away with a win. "When a team is living at the free throw line like they did tonight as a team, it's going to be hard to win a game against a team that's as good as they are. "
Yet, it's hard to believe that there was that much of a difference in the physicality and aggressive nature in the Lakers over the Blazers Saturday night. The total free throw discrepancy for the game finished at 43 to 18. After the Blazers 116-108 loss, Damian Lillard explained that both teams were physical in Game 3 as he tried to make sense of the difference at the charity stripe. "The discrepancy in free throws is something that is out of our control… Last game we came out -- they played a really physical game, a really aggressive game that led to blowout victory for them. But tonight, we came in saying, we wasn't going to get bullied any and let them out physical and out aggressive us and maybe sometimes we did foul, but they're a physical team as well." --Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard
A major storyline in this game was the free throw discrepancy. The Lakers made 28 of 43 while Portland made 18 of 19. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a game where it was that big,” Stotts said. “It certainly had an impact in the first half when I think the differential was 23. That had an impact on the game.”
What the Pacers couldn't over come was how the] Heat manufactured a chunk of their offense at the foul line. They made 43 of 52 shots, led by Butler, who attempted 20, and Bam Adebayo (8-of -9). "Fifty-two free throws is ridiculous," McMillan said. "They had 24 attempts at the half. This is the playoffs. I thought some of those calls were ... I can't explain it."
J. Michael Falgoust: McMillan: "52 free throws is ridiculous. This is the playoffs. Some of those calls, I can't explain" #PacersHeat
That lack of ambient sound in the three arenas being used at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex has made for a different dynamic between referees and the players and coaches throughout a game. "In my career, 10 years, I never would have heard an assistant from 70 feet away say, 'Make the f---ing call!'" referee Josh Tiven said. "But you might hear that here."
While there may be the occasional moment when a referee will hear something that helps confirm whether a play was a foul or not, officials are mostly relying on the typical things. "I'm so locked in that [it doesn't impact me]," Capers said. "We have a principle to referee the defender. So when that reach happens, I know if it's hand and ball, and I know that it's wrist, and I know if he gets him. "Because, people don't talk about it, but basketball is a contact sport. We're trying to figure out if it is marginal and incidental, versus illegal. So as long as I am locked in, and as long as I am doing my job and focused, I see it the same way."
Michael Singer: Monte Morris on Rudy Gobert's screens: "I don't think all of them are legal."
Referees gave Porzingis and Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. double technicals following a confrontation that began when Morris wrapped his arms around Luka Doncic, drawing the ire of the Dallas star. Porzingis confronted Morris, and they were separated after Morris shoved Porzingis. "I saw him getting into Luka's face and I didn't like that," said Porzingis, who had 14 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes before his ejection. "That's why I reacted. That's a smart, smart thing to do from their part. I've just got to be smarter and control my emotions the next time."
Deonte Burton: It’s playoff man the officiating has to be better man!! No excuses for the ref to miss that call they not perfect but that’s just a terrible call on donavan!!! @NBA
Sticking with basketball, do you continue to consider you bought robbed by the referees within the 2006 finals? Mark Cuban: 100 p.c. Due to ineptitude or one thing else? Mark Cuban: Ineptitude plus one thing else. I’ve had refs inform me that I wasn’t their favourite individual. In order that they have been screwing you deliberately? Mark Cuban: With out query.
Did you speak to the league about that? Mark Cuban: I did. They investigated it and mentioned they couldn’t show it. That yr was the final yr, as a result of I raised such hell, when many of the refereeing assignments within the finals have been based mostly on seniority. Now there’s an try and make it based mostly on job efficiency. As soon as I went via the record, proper round that 2006 timeframe, of all of the just lately employed referees. I used to be curious the place we have been hiring these folks from. These weren’t refs that have been within the pressure-cooker video games, Indiana-Purdue, Duke-North Carolina video games. They have been from these small conferences. I’m like, Why are we hiring refs from these small conferences? Seems that the man who was answerable for officiating for these small conferences was the previous coach of the individual chargeable for hiring the referees. There was this connection between the 2 of them, and so he wasn’t hiring one of the best. We employed any individual from the Rucker League! I don’t even wish to go into all the small print. It was a joke.
Sean Cunningham: Luke Walton says he's never seen a 50 free throw game before, as Dallas had a 50-12 advantage. 37 fouls from his Kings team.
"So on that play, at replay, Olynyk, we judged that he took an aggressive swipe and he made some contact into the facial area of Kyle Lowry," Guthrie said in the pool report. "At replay, in my judgement, I felt like that did meet the criteria for a flagrant foul. After reviewing that more postgame, and thinking about it a little bit more, to me, it now is more of a natural basketball play going for the ball and that the contact really did not rise to the criteria of a flagrant foul. In both of these instances and cases, though, as always, I know that the league office will review them as they always do all flagrant fouls and they'll make their determinations at the end of the day on what they think they ended up, in their judgement, that it was. But we had our judgments in the live game."
Matt Velazquez: Informed of Marcus Smart's postgame comments about Giannis staying in the game because the refs didn't want him to foul out, Giannis said that's his opinion and then went on to praise Smart and speak at length about how much he respects him and his game.
Michael Lee: I spoke to referee Danny Crawford a few years about if MJ pushed off in ‘98 & he said you can’t blow a whistle on “what you thought you saw” in real time. “It wasn’t an egregious play where you thought, ‘Oh, no. You can’t do that.’ It was a tough play that could go either way.”
Michael Lee: I spoke to referee Danny Crawford a few years about if MJ pushed off in ‘98 & he said you can’t blow a whistle on “what you thought you saw” in real time. “It wasn’t an egregious play where you thought, ‘Oh, no. You can’t do that.’ It was a tough play that could go either way.”
After his complaints to the referees didn't receive the desired response, Doncic wanted to be sure that the reason for his displeasure was on the record. "They hit me in the face, and that should be a foul," Doncic said. "They should look at it. I think the rule is when you get hit in the face, they've got to look if it's flagrant or no, right? Like I said, I was hit in the face three times. Two of them was not a foul."
After Oladipo hit two free throws to push the Pacers' lead to three points with 13 seconds remaining, Doncic confronted referee Tyler Ford during the timeout. "He can't f---ing hit me in the mouth!" Doncic shouted at Ford. "They didn't care," Doncic said after the game. "It was clear. Everybody saw on the Jumbotron."
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
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