ClutchPoints: LeBron James absolutely fuming that he di…

More on Officiating Complaints

“As much as you try not to put it on the officiating, it’s becoming increasingly difficult,” Ham said. “There’s a bunch of stuff we could have did better in this game, but for the most part, we competed our behinds off, played the right way, played together, stayed aggressive, playing down, playing in the paint. And it’s unfortunate that the game ends off a play like that.” “We got cheated,” forward Anthony Davis said.
“He fouled him. He fouled him. Clearly. Clearly,” said Davis, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his second game back from injury. “It’s bulls---. But at the end of the day, like, it’s unacceptable. And I guarantee nothing is gonna happen to the refs. We got cheated tonight, honestly. It’s a blatant foul. Pat [Beverly] got all ball on I think Brown — Jaylen Brown. They call a foul. And Bron gets smacked across the arm [and they don’t]. It’s unacceptable, to be honest. The refs were bad. They were bad tonight.”
Lewis did not care for Beverley’s attempt to provide evidence of the foul and gave him a technical foul. As Beverley walked back to the Lakers bench, he held the camera in the air while pointing at it and looking back at Lewis. “I mean, just ridiculous,” ABC’s Mike Breen said. “And Eric Lewis rightfully T's him up.”
Sources not authorized to speak publicly said the Lakers were quickly informed by NBA officiating staff after the game that a foul should’ve been called on the play. Later, crew chief Eric Lewis said the officials should’ve whistled a foul. “There was contact,” he told a pool reporter. “At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play.”
It’s the second time a potential James game-winner went without a call this month; the Lakers learned James should’ve shot free throws after a drive in the first overtime of a two-overtime loss to Dallas. The Lakers also should’ve been granted a potential game-tying free throw when Kendrick Nunn made a three against Sacramento on Jan. 18 with less than 10 seconds left. “It’s been building,” James said after the game. “Because you guys seen some of the games we’ve lost this year with late-game missed calls. We had an opportunity to literally win the game.”
LeBron James: “I had the second one in the last few weeks for myself — against Dallas, had an opportunity to win on a foul call. K-Nunn the other day had an opportunity to tie the game if the four-point play is called. I don’t understand. I don’t understand what we’re doing. And I watch basketball every single day. I watch games every single day. And I don’t see it happening to nobody else. It’s just weird.”
Jovan Buha: LeBron James on the final possession: “You saw my reaction. … It’s challenging. I don’t get it.”
LeBron James: That one hurt BIG TIME!!! I don't understand
With two All-Star appearances on his résumé and a max contract in the bank, he was figuring that situation could change a bit coming into the season. It hasn’t. If anything, it has gotten worse. “I don’t know,’’ LaVine said. “I keep attacking; I try to at least. It’s not like I’m not going to the hole and trying to get contact. It’s frustrating. I try to play through it.’’
Entering the game against the Celtics on Monday, he was averaging 4.3 free throws, his lowest total since the 2016-17 season with the Timberwolves. “Maybe I have to learn how to sell it a little better,’’ LaVine said. “I’ve never been good about selling it to get calls. I try to get the and-one. I’ll keep fighting through it. If not, there are other ways to combat it and get to the line. I’ll figure it out.’’
Ben Anderson: "I should have gotten thrown out, that play was gross." Will Hardy said he should have been ejected after the refs badly blew a bad foul that could have injured Jordan Clarkson. #TakeNote | @kslsports
So with 24 seconds remaining, there first was a technical foul issued to Adebayo by referee Tony Brothers and then another from referee Nick Buchert, leaving Adebayo ejected. “I mean, me personally, I don’t really get bent out of shape about fouls,” Adebayo said, with the Heat turning their attention to Friday’s rematch against the Celtics at TD Garden. “My biggest thing is like, my mom taught me ever since I was younger, if somebody’s talking to you, you look at them dead in the eyes. I feel like that’s unprofessional when players come to try come talk to you and you don’t look at them and, you know, acknowledge them. “I feel like that has to be addressed. And that’s conversations we don’t get to see, we don’t get to hear when they go in their corners. I feel like they should be put on the podium and have to explain certain situations throughout the game.”
Adebayo said no detailed explanations were forthcoming, with a different officiating crew to work Friday’s game. “I asked if I’m getting fouled? They tell me, no,” he said. “And then I go watch film and they were just pushing me. So it’s one of those things where it’s kind of like, ‘Come on bro, y’all are out here to make the game fair.’ And I’m not saying dudes don’t get touched more than others. “But our team shooting a total of nine free throws and we’re one of the teams that gets in the paint, lives in the paint, and you’re telling me we only shoot nine? Come on, man.”
Clutch Points: "Going into the season, it was really bench decorum and the palming violation...travelling in the last 2-3 weeks, it's really skyrocketed across the league." @Shams Charania talks about Steph Curry's travel on #RunItBack (via
HoopsHype: Mike Budenholzer not happy with the officiating: “I just think sometimes the hits that Giannis is taking, the league needs to look at them. The league needs to protect him.”
Kings coach Mike Brown was not happy with officials following his team’s 110-107 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday at FTX Arena. Brown made his feelings clear during his postgame news conference, saying he felt Heat guard Tyler Herro traveled before making a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining. “We’ve got a lot of respect for the program, the Miami Heat, (coach Erik) Spoelstra and everything they’ve done, and Tyler Herro’s a great player, but he traveled,” Brown said. “He traveled on the last play and I would not be doing my job if I didn’t come up here and protect my guys. My guys fought their behind off for close to 48 minutes, and to (see Herro) pump fake and then sidestep, or hop and then one-two and a shot, and not make that call, to me it’s just unbelievable.”
HoopsHype: Steve Kerr on carries: "Basically the whole league does that. They've been doing it since Allen Iverson convinced the referees that it wasn't a carry. What Jordan (Poole) does is a carry, but the whole league has been doing it."
It was a ruling that did not sit well with Curry. “It was an awful call,” he said afterward with a smile of resignation. “What did you think I was going to say? I was walking to the free-throw line, thinking I was going to get three free throws and even the score with a minute and some change left.” But he also believed there was more than incidental “high-five” contact. “It was a tough one,” he said. “I clearly felt a lot of contact. I don’t know what they saw besides the high-five contact they talked about. But you got to be allowed to finish your motion. That’s what I felt like. “Especially when you slow it down to slo-mo, it’s pretty clear there was a lot of contact. But what do I know about calls?”
Butler said he thought it was worth challenging, convinced by Lowry that the case for reversal was on solid ground. “I mean, I don’t know all the rules. Kyle does,” Butler said, before the Heat turned their attention to Wednesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings at FTX Arena. “I know I hit the ball first. And then, yeah, a little bit of hand after the follow through. So I told Spo and, ‘Hey, look man, I think you should challenge and I did hit the ball first.’ “And then Kyle was like, ‘Did you hit the ball first?’ And, ‘Yes, I hit the ball first, Kyle.’ And Kyle was like, ‘I know the rules. It’s our ball.’ "
Seemingly baited by Ja Morant, Simmons got his sixth foul with the Nets down 124-118 with 3:52 left.  “It wasn’t a foul. He called it a foul, made a mistake. It is what it is,” Simmons said. “Really frustrating. But all I can do now is support my team from the bench. But f–k yeah it’s frustrating. It’s not a foul. That was bulls–t. It’s frustrating because it’s a late game, it’s fourth quarter, it’s a physical close game. It’s the NBA. This is not college. It’s not high school. Some people are going to get hit, some people will bleed. It’s basketball.”
When asked what explanation he got from referee JT Orr, Simmons said he got none.  “There was no explanation for that call. He didn’t have anything to say,” Simmons said. “Same as the technical foul. He said because Ja had a tech he had to give me a tech because I said something. But it wasn’t malicious, it wasn’t at the referee. I told him it was just a part of basketball. People have emotions. I didn’t cuss at him, I didn’t call him anything. I said it was a bulls–t call, which it was.”
Nets star Kevin Durant said he didn't believe that last foul should have been called on Simmons, either, but that he knows calls usually even out over the course of a game. "I didn't think that one was a foul, but it is what it is," Durant said. "Ben's a veteran in this league, so he trusts himself, we trust him and it's just about bouncing back next game."
Draymond Green, who already picked up an earlier technical foul, had a mini altercation with Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown toward the end of the second quarter that went unpenalized. Two technicals are an automatic ejection. Celtics forward Grant Williams, who is a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, spoke to Yahoo Sports about the minor controversy.
“If the refs are taking into consideration that a player — a key player — already has a technical and then they decide for whatever reason that a similar incident doesn’t warrant a second technical, that’s fine as long as there is consistency. The problem is there is no consistency,” Williams told Yahoo Sports. “As players, we just want to know how the game is going to be officiated and then we’ll adjust. I personally believe you have to understand the magnitude of the game and how an ejection can impact the game. No one wants to see the game impacted by an ejection. But either all techs are the same or you consider the situation when [contemplating] a second tech. We just want the rules to be enforced straight forward and consistently.”
As the Miami Heat digest a "heartbreaking" 100-96 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, Erik Spoelstra and his staff believe that a momentum-changing overturned call in the third quarter will provide a "case study" for the NBA as far as replay reviews go moving forward. The call in question came with 11:04 remaining in the third quarter, when Heat guard Max Strus knocked down a 3-pointer deep in the corner that cut the Celtics' lead, which had been as many as 17 earlier in the first half, to 56-54.
Ira Winderman: Officiating errors cited by NBA in last two minutes of Friday's Heat-Celtics: -- Two uncalled 3-second violations on Adebayo. -- Two fouls on Celtics' White that should not have been called. -- An uncalled Tatum travel. -- An uncalled Celtics 5-second inbound violation.
The Celtics became unglued in the third quarter of their Game 1 matchup against the Miami Heat and a lot of that was the team’s own doing according to head coach Ime Udoka. All season long, Udoka has prided himself on trying to make the Celtics be a team that doesn’t get caught up in battling with the officials. However, as the Celtics watched the Heat erupt for a 39-14 third quarter explosion, Udoka “We all got caught up in officiating a little bit in that quarter when they got physical,” Udoka admitted. “Instead of trying to make the right play, drive and kick, get to the basket, we were looking for fouls, and that led to some of those turnovers.”
“Got out-physicaled, got out-toughed,” Udoka said. “They looked like they came out in the second half and wanted to up their physicality and aggression on both ends, and they did that. I don’t think we obviously responded well on either end of the floor. We had eight of our 16 turnovers in that quarter, played in the crowd on offense, got sped up. And then defensively, offensive rebounds, getting muscled around in the post. Some poor fouls got them to the free throw line. “So, flipped very quickly and just lost our composure. We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out. We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.”
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.
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
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.”
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
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March 20, 2023 | 8:58 pm EDT Update
Jabari Smith Jr., 19, and Alperen Sengun, 20, the Rockets’ youngest players, speak often about the weight room work they plan for the offseason. The Pelicans’ Jonas Valanciunas spent the two games in Houston showing why. “Jabari, especially, when he gets stronger, he’s going to be a problem, because he’s going to take all that contact and finish at the rim, or not get pushed off his spot,” Silas said. “The same thing for Alpi. He is lower body strong, but he can get stronger and better fit, and when he does that, he’s going to be a problem, as well. They’re going to get some grown man strength as we go here.
March 20, 2023 | 7:56 pm EDT Update