Seeing NBA officials go to the replay center at midcour…

Seeing NBA officials go to the replay center at midcourt has become a commonplace yet frustrating aspect of these playoffs, with refs determining if contact is worth a flagrant foul. What’s a flagrant? Is it a Flagrant 2? What happened to the hard playoff foul, to reasonably stop a player from scoring on a touch foul and going for a 3-point play? The interpretations of the rules have changed through the years and with multiple camera angles equipped in every arena, there’s no lack of officiating experts at home or in the stands.

More on Officiating Complaints

Monty McCutchen was a longtime official and now works in the league office as head of officiating. He spoke to Yahoo Sports recently, addressing concerns that have been on full display over the past few weeks. The data shows the officials are blowing the whistle more but getting more calls right, even though McCutchen admits he understands the frustration with the frequency of reviews. “I do think it’s a fair criticism,” McCutchen said to Yahoo Sports. “I would say then, that we’re sort of betwixt, in between a rock and a hard place there. Based on our desire for the health of our players. It is a difficult spot for our referees to be in. Do I think we’ve gone a couple of times when we didn’t need to? Yes, I do. And we try to train and calibrate that. “And the reason we’re blowing our whistle more is because the play is more and more assertive and more aggressive. And in some cases, even rough.”
Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul registered more fouls than points for the first time in his postseason career in the Suns' 111-101 Game 4 loss to the Mavericks on Sunday, causing the veteran point guard to vow to adjust his play to avoid the officials' whistles moving forward. "It was crazy, man. It was crazy," Paul said after finishing with six fouls and five points in 23 minutes. "I can't put myself in the situations to give [the referees] that ability to do that. I just got to look at myself and figure out how to be better."
“I mean this sincerely: I do respect that, at the end of the day, it is a hard job, right? I couldn’t do their job. You couldn’t do their job,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said Sunday evening in an exclusive interview with The Athletic. “Officiating is hard, just like playing is hard and coaching is hard, and I think we all have a standard of trying to get better and improve. And at the end of the day, that’s what stood out to me. We have to improve. That wasn’t a quality playoff basketball game, and I think officiating played a role in that.”
Kellan Olson: Devin Booker said he's been in 500 basketball games and he's never seen one quite like today. I asked him if he's ever seen someone get called for a technical foul like that while getting fouled and he said he has not.
Gerald Bourguet: Asked Devin Booker about the technical he got on the play he got fouled. He said the explanation he was given was that he flailed his arm on the follow-through. Has he ever seen a player get a tech on a play they were fouled on? "I have not."
Gerald Bourguet: Chris Paul on the foul trouble: "It was crazy, man. Crazy." Said they have to bounce back in Game 5
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on Draymond's flagrant 2 not being reduced: "I have no reaction. We are powerless in this stuff. Whatever the league decides, or whatever the referees decide, that's what stands. We have to move onto the next game."
Mary B (Draymond Green's mom): I still can’t believe that CALL on @Money23Green ! Trying to do the right thing! If that was blatant his face would have hit the floor! #REFSSUCK

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Austin Krell: When asked for comment on Joel Embiid’s being fined for complaining about officiating, Doc Rivers joked: “Joel Embiid got fined? Wow…dammit.” When the fact that Nick Nurse was not fined for his comments was brought up, Rivers declined comment and said, “Does that sound fair?”
The Pelicans shot 42 free throws to the Suns' 15, and it was a 17-2 disparity in the first half. The Suns were called for 12 more fouls in what was a classic physical playoff game. "You can slice it any way you want to," Williams said. "In a playoff game that physical, [the disparity] is amazing. Coaches shouldn't have to come up to the microphone and feel like they're going to get their heads cut off for speaking the truth."
Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins often has a cool, calm demeanor, but he felt the need to stand up for his players after their 119-118 loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 4 of their NBA playoff series Saturday.  "In my opinion, one of the most poorly-officiated games I've ever seen in my NBA career. All five of our starters are borderline fouled out in the first quarter."
Jenkins also pointed out one play where he said officials blew the whistle before contact happened on a Timberwolves player.  "I've never seen a more inconsistent, arrogant officiated game," Jenkins said. "It's embarrassing. I'm at a loss for words. I'm not going to go as far as saying that's the reason we lost, but I'm going to let it be known that's messed up."
Geoff Calkins: Taylor Jenkins: “I’ve never seen a more inconsistent and arrogant officiated game.” Also, “From the get go it was foul foul foul foul. It’s embarrassing.”
Meghan Triplett: “In my opinion one of the most poorly officiated games I've ever seen in my NBA career…” “I've never seen a more inconsistent, arrogant officiated game. So I'll take whatever hits coming my way…” -Taylor Jenkins after the @Memphis Grizzlies game
Meghan Triplett: "When I was growing up [and] when I was in the league the first 3 years when I watched playoff basketball, there was barely any calls called. Let the players play and figure it out. I felt like they just wanted to run the show..." -Dillon Brooks on the officiating in Game 4
Damichael Cole: Ja Morant said he’s also willing to take a fine. He wasn’t happy about the officiating, like Taylor Jenkins. “S—-t terrible. I don’t even foul like that.” “I’m right behind coach. I’ll take mine too.”
Drew Hill: There have been 210 fouls called over the four games between the Grizzlies and Timberwolves. That’s 52.5 fouls per game. The league average per game this season was 39.3 fouls per game.
Rob Schaefer: Billy Donovan on Patrick Williams' foul on Giannis while jockeying for rebound position down stretch: "I thought it was over-the-back (on Giannis), just from my angle." But said Bulls need to do better job moving on to next play
The treatment of Jokic might not have been criminal, but it’s certainly farcical. What does the once and future MVP have to do to earn a more favorable whistle from the refs? “My friend,” Jokic said, “I think I’m going to get fined if I answer.”
Ky Carlin: Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been fined $15,000 for criticizing the officials in last night’s loss to the Sixers. He was upset about Joel Embiid and James Harden getting the amount of free throws they got. #Sixers
With 17.4 seconds remaining, All-Star Darius Garland was fouled by Philadelphia center Joel Embiid. According to a review of the play, Embiid reached across Garland and made contact to his left arm -- a play that should’ve resulted in two free throws and could’ve put Cleveland ahead by one. Bickerstaff singled out that egregious missed call in his postgame remarks.
Tim MacMahon: Jason Kidd just got ejected for his first time as the Mavs’ head coach. Tony Brothers tossed him. Not sure Kidd really wants to watch the rest of this dud in Washington anyway.

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Alex Schiffer: Kyrie Irving said he thought the free throw disparity was a major difference in the game. Said the Nets deserve some blame, perhaps the refs do, too. His bigger problem was the Bucks were "reckless at times" with a few of their fouls.
Stefan Bondy: Kyrie Irving on the Bucks: “They were playing pretty physical. I think they were a little reckless at times. Just on a lot of their fouls. Or a few of their fouls. That’s who they are. But I think it was just reckless at times.”
Will Guillory: The NBA's L2M Report determined that there wasn't a foul on Jose Alvarado's final shot in last night's loss to the Spurs. It did come back with 2 incorrect non-calls, though -- one on the Pels, one on the Spurs. pic.twitter.com/WMcMde2uAZ

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Reserve big man Tristan Thompson had a meltdown late in the game, but it wasn’t because of the play of his teammates. It was because of the officials. After he picked up two technicals expressing his displeasure with a review, he dropped a series of expletives before being escorted off the court that likely will cost him a fine with the league office. Lost in the bad defeat to a 31-42 Pelicans team was a stellar performance by Zach LaVine, who scored a season-high 39 points on 12-for-23 shooting. And as frustrated as he was with the loss, getting in the face of teammates just isn’t in his personality. “I think everybody is on high alert,’’ LaVine said. “You’re not going to tell somebody to act a different way. I’m not going to try to turn into something I’m not. I think that’s fake. People can see through that. I think everybody knows what’s ahead of us and what we need to do.’’
Jokes aside, he went on to explain in a calm-but-firm rant that he feels defenders are being allowed to get away with excessive contact on plays where he goes to the hoop. “I’m intentionally trying to get to the basket, get to the free-throw line, and I’m airballing layups — that’s not me. And I just felt like, at that point, I just had to sound off because it was just getting ridiculous,” he said. “… I’m not going to make this solely a ‘Donovan being officiated different’ thing, but I do feel there are times when I don’t get to those calls, and I was tired of it. “I am tired of it because I’m working my a-- off to get downhill and try to create [for] our offense,” Don added. “… I’m constantly being hand-checked or stopped with two hands because I’m so strong. That can’t keep continuing to happen. It leads to turnovers, bad shots … it puts everyone in a bad spot.”
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic has declared he is done ranting at referees and has discovered a trick to help prevent him from venting his frustration when the whistle doesn't go his way. "It's a funny thing -- I just start singing a song in my head," Doncic said after Friday night's 111-101 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, when he had a frustrating performance (17 points, 5-of-20 shooting, six turnovers) but no confrontations with the officials. "One of my favorite songs I pick and just start singing and let [the frustration] pass.
"I think these last couple of games I've been great with officials. If I think I'm fouled, I just go to him and talk to him normal. But that's it. It's got to be this way." Doncic, who added that he decides between a Slovenian and a Serbian song, has been called for an NBA-leading 15 technical fouls this season, one of which was rescinded after review by the league office. That means he is two technical fouls shy of an automatic one-game suspension, which is levied when a player reaches 16 technicals during the regular season and every two technicals thereafter.
Having apparently seen enough of his team retching all over itself, Popovich picked an argument with referee Bennie Adams and got himself mercifully ejected. He left the court with a wink. Unfortunately for Hammon and everyone else on the Spurs’ roster, they had to stick around to watch the rest of the kiester-kicking the Pelicans administered. C.J. McCollum went for 20 points and Naji Marshall added 18 off the bench as New Orleans handed the Spurs their most lopsided defeat of the season.

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In terms of controlling emotions during games, the Knicks haven’t set the best example. Thibodeau’s complaining to the referees is typically loud and demonstrative. Top executive William Wesley had also been animated during games toward referees, especially on the road, and was spotted last season storming around in a tantrum behind the basket in Barclays Center.
Anthony Chiang: Last 2 Minute report says no-call that led to jump ball late in last night’s Heat-Bucks game was correct ruling. “Antetokounmpo (MIL) and Butler (MIA) arrive at the ball simultaneously during the inbound pass and the body contact that occurs is incidental.”
The Kings were not pleased with the officiating at the end of the game. Jokic nearly fouled out late in the fourth quarter, but officials ignored a questionable screen on Fox and later overturned a call that would have sent Barnes to the free-throw line. “It’s interesting,” Barnes said. “You get fouled on a play, no call. You talk to the refs. They say they missed it and you kind of go from there. It happens once, it’s fine, but when it happens multiple times, you sit at the end of the game and wonder. That’s six to eight to 10 free throws, right? Well, what could have happened?”
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
More HoopsHype Rumors
May 22, 2022 | 7:42 pm EDT Update
May 22, 2022 | 5:43 pm EDT Update
Since these bench decorum issues generally have been resolved after the league intervenes, technical fouls have not been used a deterrent, and the league does not plan to start issuing techs during the conference finals. However, the topic will be discussed in the offseason, and the league will explore ways to address bench decorum during games in real time, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
Storyline: Fines