The NBA and Competition Committee — comprising a select group of owners, general managers, coaches, players and referees — largely believes there’s a framework of rules that allows offensive players too much free time to initiate contact in what are deemed unnatural and awkward ways.
The NBA's Competition Committee met Monday to further explore rule changes to restrict the unnatural motions surrounding jump shots that players are using to draw fouls, sources told ESPN. The league wants to limit the ability of players -- including crafty stars like James Harden, Luka Doncic and Trae Young -- to lean backward and sideways, for example -- to initiate contact and get to the free throw line.
The NBA has shared a video compilation of player examples with the 30 teams that outlines a number of motions deemed unnatural that were used to draw fouls. The NBA and the Competition Committee will drill down on specific plays with the league's GMs next week to target examples that'll be recommended to owners to vote to eliminate next season, sources said.
There's growing belief that many of these maneuvers are contributing to a game that's slanting too much of an advantage toward the offense. While the concentration of these issues is often focused on star players getting much more usage and exposure with the ball, the league sees this as a universal problem throughout lineups and rosters -- not only an issue for star players.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The plan's to bring recommendations to the Board of Governors for a vote this summer and implement rule changes for 2021-2022, per sources. Next step will be to talk with league’s GM’s about the specific unnatural motions that’ll be formally recommended to owners for elimination.
Jeff Zillgitt: Steve Nash on P.J. Tucker's defense: "He’s playing extremely physical and made it difficult. That’s his role on their team. I thought it was borderline non-basketball physical at times, but that’s the playoffs. You have to adapt and adjust."
Kyle Neubeck: Rivers hinting at some issues with the officials discussing Simmons taking the Young assignment: "He picked up two fouls for playing defense, and that was frustrating to see." Rivers was also shocked their challenge in the third quarter was not successful
Harrison Wind: Only one missed call shows up on the L2M Report from Game 5 last night: Carmelo Anthony fouled Nikola Jokic on this play in OT. Austin Rivers' three-shot foul on Damian Lillard (on the floor) at the end of regulation, which was reviewed, was a "correct call." pic.twitter.com/g7JUErFbzt
Mike Vorkunov: Julius Randle says his flagrant was response to Gallinari elbowing Bullock earlier. "Gallinari had a dirty play...I can’t let that happen. I wasn’t trying to hurt him but in this situation...you take a hard foul or whatever, just to let them know we’re not accepting their s---."
It was enough to make an old guy feel nostalgic about the 1980s. During a timeout with three minutes left, Bullock clearly had had it so he charged the Hawks’ bench from the other end of the court, presumably to get at Gallinari, and Bullock had to be restrained by teammates, drawing a technical foul. Gallinari pretended to be oblivious to it all. “I honestly didn’t know that he was running toward me,” he said. “I was just going back to the bench to get my water. I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening.”
Gerald Bourguet: Monty Williams was asked about what Chris Paul said re: Scott Foster. "You know I'm not gonna touch that."
Kellan Olson: Chris Paul: "If I was a betting man, 11 games in a row." That's now 11 straight playoff games he's lost with Scott Foster refereeing. "11 in a row is tough" as he leaves the Zoom.
Sean Highkin: Damian Lillard: "I felt like everything we did was a foul. Maybe some of them were fouls, but every damn thing we did, the whistle was being blown. ... It was a lot of things we could have done differently. We can't make no excuses and blame it on that."
Harrison Wind: Nikola Jokic postgame: "I think (the officials) have the toughest job. They make a good call, a bad call, somebody’s going to yell at them. I don't know why anyone wants to become a ref to be honest."
Ben Anderson: Rudy Gobert on the officials: "It was hard for me to figure out what kind of game they were calling."
Eric Nehm: Today, I asked Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer if the league has given him any guidance on how they plan to call or not call ten-second violations on Giannis Antetokounmpo going forward. "No. I have had no guidance, or no communication with me regarding this." - Budenholzer
RJ Marquez: NBA's Last Two Minute Report notes two incorrect non-calls during Spurs-Grizzlies game: Missed Rudy Gay foul on Valanciunas with 1:27 left in 4Q and score 96-90. Missed Dillon Brooks foul on Jakob after DeRozan miss with 25 secs remaining and score 98-93. #GoSpursGo #NBA
Damian Lillard: A shooting foul gets challenged... then overturned and instead of a jump ball (like every other time this happens ) you give the offensive team the ball back 🤔 Dylan Mickanen: This is what Dame is referring to btw. The call was reversed via a challenge but the NBA ruled Davis had possession so it was Lakers ball rather than a jump ball. LeBron hit a 3-pointer eight seconds later.
Perturbed over what they consider an egregious missed call against center Jarrett Allen late in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 120-105 loss to the Washington Wizards, the Cleveland Cavaliers submitted video and reached out to the league office Saturday morning, expressing their feelings and asking for coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s technical foul to be rescinded, sources tell cleveland.com.
Jason Quick: Norman Powell to @The Athletic on whether he fouled Devin Booker in closing seconds Fri at Phoenix, which led to game-winning FTs: "I hit him a little bit, but you know, I don't think it was enough for the ref ... the ref couldn't see that. He more called Devin Booker's yell."
Kellan Olson: L2M highlights from last night: -- Nurkic didn't foul Saric on the first set of FTs with 1:04 left -- Bridges traveled on his drive off the inbound he got FTs for with 34 secs left -- Powell fouled Booker before he got the ball with 4 secs left -- CJ went backcourt at the end
This is old hat by now for the presumptive MVP. According to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Reports, Jokic has been on the wrong end of a bad call a league-leading 14 times this season. Twice as many as the second-most player.
That said, Jokic has been getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop for a lot longer than just this season. According to @atlhawksfanatic database of Last Two Minute Reports, Jokic has been on the wrong end of more bad calls than anyone else since 2015, which is as far back as the data goes. The chart below shows the players who have been disadvantaged the most from bad calls since the NBA started publicizing the Last Two Minute Reports.
Eric Walden: Jordan Clarkson, on if he got fouled on the layup attempt with 7 seconds to go: "Not necessarily. … I thought the shot before that should have been reviewed."
Chris Hine: Ant refuted my question earlier when I said the Wolves were getting a little emotional in the 3rd Q. @JaceFrederick followed up with "Who was getting emotional then, Ant?" Ant: "The zebras."
Will Guillory: David Griffin says part of the reason Zion Williamson is injured is bc of the way he's been officiated by the NBA officials this season. Says the way he's been officiated encouraged teams to play more physically against him in the paint.
Scott Kushner: Griff says there is more violence encouraged against Zion than any player since Shaq. Blames the additional contact on the injury
Marc Stein: Technical update: Technical fouls in play-in games, I'm told, will be a completely separate entity. In other words: A play-in game tech does NOT count toward the 16 that force a one-game suspension in the regular season OR the seven in the playoffs that net a one-game suspension
NBA on ESPN: Ja Morant was given a tech and ejected from the game vs. the Knicks. Ja Morant: Send threats then want to give techs lol 😂😅🤡
Doncic's second ejection occurred during a timeout with 31.8 seconds remaining after Kings guard Delon Wright's layup stretched Sacramento's lead to 13 points. Doncic tossed the ball toward the opposite basket, a violation of the rules, although players often take an extra shot after the whistle without incident. "If you get a tech for that, that's ..." Doncic said, pausing and shaking his head. "I don't know."
Brad Townsend: Doncic said he said nothing to the referee. He said he got the second technical, he guesses, because he tossed the basketball away. Doncic says he believes both techs should be rescinded. Says he got the first one by saying "Hell, no."
Neil Dalal: NBA's Last Two Minute Report says the crew of Kevin Scott, Nick Buchert, and Jonathan Sterling called the final two minutes of Wizards-Mavs correctly. Bradley Beal may have his disputes about that, but certainly for the earlier 46 minutes.
Williamson said there's "not much I can do" about not getting calls and that he has to learn from it and finish the shot next time. "I gotta earn my respect," said Williamson, who had 21 points and shot 8-of-17 from the field, only the seventh time this season he has been below .500. "I'm only in Year 2. Gotta get a couple more years under my belt and hopefully things change with that."
Jim Eichenhofer: Stan Van Gundy had an interesting response when he was asked by media if refs are less likely to make a decisive whistle in the final seconds of a game: "I don't know about that (premise), because we fouled Westbrook and Lillard at the end of games and they made the calls."
Eliot Clough: SVG on Zion not getting calls: "He doesn't flop, and he doesn't yell and scream at the referees. He gets to the free throw line a lot. I've had refs say to me 'How many FTs has he shot?' It's a stupid question. ... There's nights he should shoot 20."
After a converted layup by the Raptors, the five-time All-Star was shoved in the back and ran into the stanchion. Official Brandon Schwab tossed the ball to Love so he could inbound it in and an irritated Love spiked the ball with his left hand. Schwab is a G-League official and players expressed irritation with the consistency in calls, sources said. Players from around the league have shared their concerns privately and publicly with the influx of new officials this season.
Dwight Howard feels that his reputation has earned him more than a few technical fouls. On Saturday, the 76ers center was assessed his NBA-leading 15th technical foul. With the next one, he will receive a $5,000 fine and serve a one-game suspension. He received his 15th technical foul in Saturday’s 132-94 loss in Milwaukee. Howard was unavailable for comment after the game, but did discuss the matter following Monday’s 121-90 home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I do feel like I am being targeted, every night,” the 17th-year center said.
“I do feel like I’ve been targeted, but I am just going to continue to play as hard as I can,” he said. “I want the Philly fans to know that I am out there giving 130% every night. The calls might not go my way, I might seem a little frustrated, but I am out there to help this team win a championship.”
Howard understands it is not all the referees’ fault that he has received the 15 technicals. “I have to make sure that I hold myself accountable and do the right things and I hate it, I’ve got this many techs,” he said. “It doesn’t show my character, who I am as a person, a player, so I’ve got to do a better job of that, but a lot of my techs have been just really quick and when I’m on the court, I’m passionate, I want to win.”
Love’s intent wasn’t to slap the ball inbounds, sources said. Love was frustrated with officials and not his team’s performance, sources said. Brandon Schwab is a G-League official and players expressed irritation with the consistency in calls, sources said. Players from around the league have shared their concerns privately and publicly with the influx of new officials this season.
Neil Dalal: Russell Westbrook receives his 14th technical foul on the season from official John Conley and continues to argue his case to other officials into the timeout. He needs to avoid two more technicals over the remaining 11 games of the regular season to avoid a 1-game suspension.
Justin Grasso: Doc Rivers says he doesn’t think Dwight Howard should’ve gotten a tech. Rivers believes he got it because of his reputation. He also says that he only got a tech because he was defending Howard #Sixers
Law Murray: The NBA L2M report determined that CJ McCollum's foul called by Scott Foster that sent Paul George to the free throw line for the game-winning free throws was an incorrect call. In the spirit of Rasheed Wallace: Both teams were displeased by the officiating last night In
Kellan Olson: L2M report highlights: - Ayton was fouled on the strip where he hurt his shoulder - Bucks did not have possession when they called timeout with 2.5 left - Ayton fouled DiVincenzo on the Bridges 3 in OT - Connaughton should have got a 3-second call on the last possession of OT
Eric Nehm: P.J. Tucker: "It is what is. They made a call. I think in that situation, it's a tough call to make. Tied game, overtime, from all the plays that happened before, how the way the game was being officiated, I think that's a really tough call."
Jim Eichenhofer: Zion on the foul called against him on Westbrook's jumper, leading to game-winning free throws for Wizards: "For the people who know me, it's very tough. The last thing I want to do is fail my teammates. In the moment, that's what it felt like, sending him to the foul line."
JD Shaw: Kings guard De'Aaron Fox has been fined $20,000 for public criticism of the officiating, the league announced today.
Fox seethed over the officiating after the game, saying it was “god-awful” and “f------ terrible.” Fox was frustrated after he was awarded only six free throws while Mitchell went to the free-throw line 17 times. “S--- was god awful,” Fox said. “Mine wasn’t even about me getting there and things like that. It was about the calls they were getting on the other end. If you’re going to call something on one end, call it on the other end.
Wes Goldberg: Steph Curry on the persistent fouling: "I don't know that you can put a headline on 'this is why we're fouling,' we just got to stop doing it."
Connor Letourneau: Steph Curry: "We've just got to be smarter. ... Overall, there's not just a consistent pattern. It's just bad fouling, and we've got to fix it."
Sarah K. Spencer: Trae Young: “The refs, you’ve got to just play. We’re on the road and there’s some obvious ones that I don’t want to get into, it’s over with, the game’s over with now, we’ve just got to move on and not let the officials mess with us and what we’ve got going on.”
Rick Bonnell: Hornets coach James Borrego on the possible Suns goal-tend that was never called: "I thought it was goal-tending. We'll find out." He also mentioned the last-2-minute report from the Heat game showing Hornets were disadvantaged by two missed calls against Miami.
Andrew Greif: Paul George says he has "35,000 reasons" to want to explain why he only shot 3 free throws tonight but he'll keep his thoughts to himself. If you remember, his fine for discussing officiating was $35K.
Duane Rankin: "It's getting ridiculous with these techs. They can't even give you an explanation." Chris Paul as he picked up his 7th technical foul of the season. Monty Williams called Paul a friend, but said Paul drives him "crazy" with the techs. #Suns
Ian Begley: Julius Randle on the foul called on him late in OT that played a significant role Philly's win over NYK: "For them to call that and decide the game is f-----g ridiculous. It's ridiculous. They've got to do a better job. It's too many games like this."
Shams Charania: Raptors coach Nick Nurse has been fined $50,000 by NBA for throwing facemask behind scorer’s table and toward the stands and directing profanity toward official.
Duane Rankin: "That's the 1st time you got ejected?" Chris Paul. Monty Williams made early exit for 1st time as #Suns coach Friday. "If Coach Mont is getting riled up, then it must be something legitimate." Devin Booker. Williams said that had never happened before. "Even as a player?"
Suns (27-13) proceeded to win, 113-101, in the second of a back-to-back before 3,124 fans, but not before Williams made an early exit for the first time as their head coach. "It was crazy to see, but sometimes you got to do things to kind of get your guys into the game a little bit more," Suns guard Cameron Payne said. "So I kind of look at it that way. He kind of gave us some energy cause it's like, we know Coach Mont and for you all to throw him out, it's kind of crazy so we had to group together as a team and find a way to win that game."
Frustrated with what he felt like were missed calls, as he specifically mentioned Booker getting slapped in the face on a postup and Mikal Bridges getting hit on a drive to the rim, Williams addressed referee Scott Twardoski. "If Coach Monty is getting riled up, it must be something legitimate," Booker said. "I don't know what he got thrown out for. He doesn't say a curse word. I don't know what it could've been."
Duane Rankin: Official #NBA explanation from crew chief Kane Fitzgerald on #Suns Monty Williams 1st tech: “During the timeout Monty came out to complain about the officiating and received a warning. He continued to complain after the warning and that’s when he got his first technical foul.”
January 28, 2022 | 10:01 pm EST Update
Sarah K. Spencer: Wow. Hawks beat the Celtics, 108-92, and are now on a six-game win streak. They move to 23-25, inching closer to .500. Lead got down to 1 early in the fourth, but the Hawks buckled down and responded with clutch plays. Had 10 blocks, 10 steals, just 10 turnovers.
Jim Owczarski: Forgot to note that Lindell Wigginton exited the league’s health and safety protocol the other day for the #Bucks