In a back-and-forth game, the Kings shot just 5-of-11 from the free throw line. They certainly could have hit more than five, but let’s get back to those 11 attempts. The Heat’s Jimmy Butler hit 14-of-16 from the stripe on his own. Overall, the Heat outshot the Kings 26-11 at the line … in a one point game. “One player on their team made more free throws than our whole team shot,” coach Luke Walton said. “It’s going to be hard to win when that’s happening. We stayed in attack mode, that’s all we can do.”
“If I go to the rim and there can be contact and not be a foul, then I feel like if they go to the rim and there is contact, then there shouldn’t be a foul,” De’Aaron Fox explained after the loss. Both the Kings and Heat scored an identical 42 points in the paint. Sacramento shot 21-of-34 in the key and Miami shot 21-for-35. It was a physical game, especially at the rim, but one team struggled to get calls and the other did not.
“If it was consistently a no-call or a foul, then I would be fine with it,” Fox said. “But I don’t think the whistle was consistent on both ends, so that’s where the frustration comes from, at least on my end. I don’t want to speak for anybody else.” The Kings came into the night fourth in the league in free throw attempts at 25.5 per game. That’s a tremendous improvement over the 20.3 attempts they averaged last season.
Josh Lewenberg: Kyle Lowry on his 2nd tech: "I definitely didn't think it was warranted. I didn't do anything wrong. I wasn't looking towards the official or anything. She was the only one that heard it... I do a lot of complaining but I think I got the short end of the stick on that one."
On his way back down the floor, Green's voice boomed through a near-empty Chase Center as he appeared to air out his frustration at the rookie. When the whistle was blown and Green was assessed his second technical, Kerr and several members of his staff tried to explain to the officiating crew that Green's ire was directed at the rookie center. But after listening to Green bark at various points throughout the night, hearing his frustration one more time apparently was enough, in the officials' minds at the time, to warrant an ejection. "At halftime Ben Taylor came out and told me that it was a mistake," Kerr said. "That John Butler didn't realize that Draymond was yelling at his teammate. He thought he was yelling at him."
Dane Moore: Anthony Edwards on not getting calls as a rookie: "I feel like every time I go to the rim that I get fouled. So I could get going at the line, but I'm not getting any calls."
Ira Winderman: Erik Spoelstra says it remains unclear about what else can be reviewed once a coach's challenge is issued for a foul, "I would like more clarification on that." No, not happy about that Embiid palm/travel that league did not cite in postgame report.
"There's a lot of things that I like and enjoy about it, and there's a lot of things that I hate about it," Duncan said. "I hate the way the game's being officiated at times, how they've underpowered the effect of a post player so that you're allowed to beat the crap out of a post player. You're allowed to take him off his spot. You're allowed to hit him, bump him while they're shooting. But if you turn and face and go out to the 3-point line, and you shoot the ball and fall down, all of a sudden, the whistle is blown. "So they're protecting the shooters away from the basket. It overpowers some of the players that are away from the basket, and it underpowers post players who use their bodies and their physicality around the basket."
John Karalis: Jaylen Brown on the offensive foul call: "I'm not trying to get fined, but I'm interested to hear what the verdict is on that"
ClutchPoints: After the no-call, Luka Doncic took out his frustrations on the advertisement video board by the Mavs bench.
Drew Hill: Ja Morant said if getting a tech is what he has to do to get calls he's going to get them. "When somebody is fed up, that's what happens."
Joe Mullinax: Ja said there’s a lot of contact in the paint which definitely affects his shot. He’s also irritated with the lack of calls
Drew Hill: I followed up on the Ja Morant comments and ask if he thinks more years in the league will help him get calls. His answer: "That's a question that needs an answer. I don't know."
Michael Singer: NBA's L2M from Nuggets-Kings isn't pretty. Here's list of incorrect no-calls. In 4th: Barnes traveling In OT: Foul on Whiteside defending Jokic, DEN lost ball Barnes traveling before tying game at 122 Barnes foul on Jokic w/ two seconds left Barton foul on Barnes' dunk
The Lakers had been annoyed with what they felt were extra steps being afforded to Heat rookie sharpshooter Duncan Robinson when he received the ball coming off curl screens, league sources told Yahoo Sports. And with Robinson occasionally talking trash, that only increased the Lakers’ annoyance after he torched them for 26 points while draining seven triples in Game 5.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came into Game 6 focused on not losing sight of Robinson, a rookie who is already one of the best players in the league at moving without the ball. Of course, the game got chippy. “You ain’t nothing,” Caldwell-Pope shouted at Robinson with 2:50 left in the half while Miami’s Bam Adebayo was at the free-throw line. Referee James Capers warned Caldwell-Pope to cool it down and he replied, “He’s the one talking sh--. He ain’t getting nothing tonight.”
Fournier specifically mentioned the Los Angeles Lakers who, according to him, are known around the league as massive complainers. Fournier specifically remembered their first game against the Lakers, which was before the bubble in which they complained to the refs for most of the time despite playing in a scrimmage. "Our first pre-bubble game was against the Lakers, and they complained from the first to the last minute, although it was a scrimmage, no TVs or anything. It’s just how the Lakers approach games." Evan Fournier, via NBA Extra
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.
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 pic.twitter.com/krc9sgM0LB
Harrison Faigen: Frank is gonna get fined. "I felt two bad calls at the end of the game put Butler on the line." He thought AD's contest on Butler was "textbook verticality" and that Markieff had a good contest.
Michael Singer: Malone said the team fed the NBA some clips they thought were missed from Game 4. Said they’re waiting on a response.
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.
Michael Singer: Nikola Jokic, when asked about Beverley’s “flailing” comment: “They had 26 free throws, we had 10.” Good question @Royce Young.
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.”
Ira Winderman: Budenholzer on foul that sent Butler to line to win it, "I’d say we’re disappointed with the judgment, the decision, the timing. It’s a tough job. I have a lot of respect for the officials. We have our way of seeing things. We’re going to disagree.”
NBA on ESPN: Nick Nurse was asked how frustrating it was to see Jayson Tatum take over. "The only frustrating part about it is this: He shoots 14 free throws, which is as much as our whole team shoots. ... They took very good care of him tonight."
Josh Lewenberg: Nick Nurse on Tatum: "The only frustrating part about it is he shoots 14 free throws, which is as much as our whole team shoots. That was the frustrating part."
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.” pic.twitter.com/rgq00V3spR
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.”
Ben Golliver: Rockets’ James Harden on below-the-belt shot by Thunder’s Chris Paul: “I don’t know what it was [intentional or not] but it should have been reviewed, especially if somebody gets hit in their private area. We ain’t got nowhere to go. It wasn’t [reviewed] & I don’t know why not.” pic.twitter.com/KXlQa1Glgu
Royce Young: Chris Paul on hitting Ben McLemore below the belt: “I tried to get by him. It was incidental. I know when I did it on purpose, that was in college. That was a long time ago. I checked on Ben, he said he was fine. I know Mike. He's gonna get mad, he's gonna yell and scream."
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."
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
Drew Hill: Ja Morant when asked about not getting foul calls vs. C.J. and Dame: “I feel like that question is low key a trap. Y’all are trying to get me fined.” He said when he played as a kid his dad told him to never call fouls.
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.
April 21, 2021 | 3:08 am EDT Update
Ohm Youngmisuk: DeMarcus Cousins has no time for PG hate: “We gotta stop the PG slander. It just won’t be accepted around me. He’s one of the most gifted players in this league and every chance I get, I’m gonna give him his flowers.”
StatMuse: The Clippers are 17-5 since the All-Star break. 1st in win percentage 1st in offensive rating 1st in 3P% 2nd in net rating 4th in FG% 5th in defensive rating The hottest team in the NBA right now.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Paul George on DeMarcus Cousins: “We’re getting flashes of vintage Boogie… what will be most impressive about his game is that he automatically draws double teams. He’s instant offense for us, dump the ball down there for him and he’s a playmaker.”
Eric Nehm: A league source has confirmed @Jim Owczarski’s earlier reporting to The Athletic. Mamadi Diakite has grabbed the Bucks’ 15th roster spot on a multi-year deal and the Bucks signed Justin Jackson to fill his two-way spot. Their roster is full at 17 players (15 + 2 two-way deals).
Kyrie Irving capped a 32-point performance with a tough turnaround jumper, a driving layup through converging defenders and four free throws in the final minute, and the Brooklyn Nets held on for a 134-129 victory over the reeling New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. “Obviously, when Kyrie does his thing and hits tough shots like that, it truly saves us,” said Nets forward Blake Griffin, who had 16 points and eight rebounds in a reserve role. “But I thought overall we did a better job of just trying to like, do it by committee, moving off the ball and not settling.”
Williamson, who was debuting his own Jordan brand basketball shoe, scored 33 points, mostly on strong moves in the paint that produced dunks and contested layups. Brandon Ingram added 27 points for the Pelicans, who fell four games behind Golden State and San Antonio for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference with 14 games left in the regular season. “I’m not going to lie,” Williamson said. “It does get kind of annoying to sit up here every other game saying we’re right there and we’re not closing out. So, I think we’ve got to focus on some of those small things. I say it over and over, but until we do it, some of those outcomes aren’t going to change.”
Scott Kushner: Zion says the players “take the blame” on this one. Said SVG told them they were a bit lifeless at times on the bench. Says it’s “annoying” to keep revisiting explanations about how close they are.