NBA rumors: NBA upholds Luka Doncic's 14th and 15th technical fouls

More on Officiating Complaints

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."
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."
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.
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.
Clutch Points: Jordan Poole celebrates made trey, gets T'd up 🤔 pic.twitter.com/TYldu9VeEC

http://twitter.com/ClutchPointsApp/status/1385019719665676294
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."
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.
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.
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."
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."
LA Clippers All-Star Paul George, whose frustration has been building this season over not getting foul calls despite drawing contact in the paint, said the NBA has to look into the lack of calls for the Clippers on Wednesday night at the Dallas Mavericks. George said he felt the Clippers physically attacked the rim, only to go to the line 11 times in a 105-89 loss at American Airlines Arena. He said he wants the Clippers to send in video for the league to study. "We're putting a lot of pressure at the rim," George said after the loss. "It's insane that we're not getting these calls. But it is what it is. It's nothing new to me. Hopefully, we'll send a bunch of clips in. League's gotta take a look at this."
When asked to characterize his discussions with officials following non-calls against the Clippers, George said, "Just a bunch of lies." "Can't go too much further than that -- it's a bunch of lies," George said. "They know what's going on."
On a night in which they shot a franchise-record-low-tying five free throws, the Mavericks certainly couldn’t have counted on attacking the Clippers’ interior more aggressively in the closing minutes and getting the benefit of foul calls. Dallas attempted two fourth-quarter free throws. “I’m not going to say anything,” Luka Doncic said when asked about Dallas’ paltry free throw total. “I’m not trying to get fined. That’s how they called it today; hopefully they call better next game.”
All-Star Julius Randle needed to be repeatedly restrained from going after referee Scott Foster following the Knicks’ 117-112 loss to the Nets on Monday at Barclays Center. Randle, who had been called for a traveling violation in the final seconds, had calmed down 40 minutes after the game. “It was a conversation — it’s best I don’t comment on the situation,’’ Randle said. “There was a lot of frustration behind it for both sides. I’ll let it be in the past and move onto the next game.’’
Foster told a pool reporter he stood by his call that Irving did touch the ball but didn’t dislodge it, and Randle came down on his feet with possession. That’s the rule. “It’s an emotional game, he calmed down right away,’’ Thibodeau said. “It was a hard-fought game for both teams. Sometimes it goes your way with whistles, sometimes it doesn’t. I thought Julius played a terrific game. He played the 5, was switching. It didn’t go our way at the end.’’
Neil Dalal: Russell Westbrook and Scott Brooks both wanted a foul call on Khris Middleton on this potential game-tying layup. NBA's Last Two Minute Report says it was the correct no call because it was only "marginal" contact. L2M does say Deni Avdija fouled Giannis before he passed back. pic.twitter.com/OZqhW4eOfF

http://twitter.com/NeilDalal96/status/1371219033589219331
After Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was hit with technical fouls on two separate plays in the final minute of overtime and was ejected with 30.5 seconds to go in Utah's 131-123 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the All-Star said he's tired of the Jazz being "screwed" by the referees, calling the way his team's games are officiated "f---ing ridiculous." "First off, you know, give the 76ers credit. They played a hard game. Joel [Embiid] did what he does, and at the end of the day, they're a good team. We competed. But it's tough. It's tough to go out there and see how we fight and compete, and to have a game like that taken from us," Mitchell said Wednesday night.
"Now, I'm never ever one to blame a ref, to blame an official -- I can say I could have done more -- but this is getting out of hand. There have been games like this that we've won, there have been games like this that we've lost. But this whole refereeing stuff. ... We're nice, we don't complain, like, we don't get frustrated, we fight through things, and the fact that we continually get ... screwed, in a way, by this. You know?
"We have a whole second half of the season to go and get ready for, and I'm sick of it, to be honest with you," Mitchell said. "We all are. This is something that just it eats me. It eats at me, man. "Y'all know what it is. We all know what it is. But it's really getting out of hand. It's really, really, really getting out of hand. And the league needs to do something about this. "I want to see the last two-minute report. I want to see it. But it's getting out of hand."
That disparity also drew the ire of Gobert, Utah's other All-Star -- who, like Mitchell, also earned himself a certain fine from the NBA sometime Thursday after repeatedly calling out the officials during his own postgame media session. "Our guys are not able to get calls everybody else in the f---ing league gets," Gobert said. "We know we are the Utah Jazz, and maybe some people don't want to see us go as far as we can go, but it's disappointing. "Three times in a row, Mike Conley is going to the rim, and they're grabbing him right in front of the officials and there's no calls. And, on the other end, there are calls that are invisible that are being made.
Gobert went on to say he believed the Jazz were being treated unfairly because they play in a small market. "I don't want to say that," Gobert said, "but I really believe it. After playing in this league for eight years, it's a little harder [to be in a small market], and that's one of the things that we've got to overcome. That's why I told the guys, 'When you're a small market, you've got to be better than just better. You've got to be elite, and you've got to control what you can control.'
After the game, crew chief Marc Davis told a pool reporter that Booker's first technical was for "continuous complaining" and the second was for "directing profane language at a game official." Suns forward Jae Crowder said he tried to get between Booker and the referees to deescalate the tense situation but was too late. "Devin was disputing his first technical," Crowder said. "He didn't like the first technical that was given to him and he voiced his opinion about it. The second ref heard him voice his opinion and decided to give him another one."
"I think Jae Crowder said it best: We got better tonight," said Suns coach Monty Williams after the game. "You gain confidence when a guy like Book doesn't play or gets tossed and you're able to pull a game out on the road at the end of a trip. That's a recipe for mailing it in, and this group has shown a lot of resiliency. But that was a big-time character win, and we got better. "I think we played good tonight, but we probably got more confidence that we can pull a game out without Devin or Chris [Paul] saving the day.''
Young hit the Brooklyn Nets with the move on Dec. 30. Nets head coach Steve Nash was not a fan. "That's not basketball!" Nash yelled at the officials. Nash's criticism went viral, and Young and the Hawks defended the star guard's tactic while others debated and discussed its fairness. "I learned a lot about drawing fouls from [Nash]," Young told reporters in early January. "If he says it's not basketball, he must've been saying it about himself because he's done it a couple of times throughout his career and was so successful."
Paul said he hears assistant coaches screaming at defenders to be ready for it, to get their hands back. Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo was a recent victim, and as coaches yelled at him to be aware, DiVicenzo said, "What?" "By the time he heard it," Paul said, "it was too late." If there's a player that seeks those advantages within the rules of the game McCutchen talked about, it's The Point God. "They're not annoying. If you watch enough games every night, you know what to expect. There's a skill to that," Paul countered. "That stuff James [Harden] does where he puts the ball out, that's a skill. DeMar DeRozan is great at it. That's a skill."
The other thing to try, Ayton said: Get in front of it. Talk to the ref before the game and tell them to be on the lookout for these cheeky plays. "In the post, I'll tell the refs, when I know it's a center that likes to bang, like Jokic, I'll tell the ref, 'Hey, just watch my hands,'" Ayton said. "Showing my hands when I'm taking contact, so don't call a foul. Just reminding the ref, 'Yo, we bangin' but my hands aren't in there, I'm straight up.'"
There are plays like Reggie Miller's scissorkick, where he'd cleverly leave one leg hanging out on a jumper for a defender to potentially clip. It was irritating, and in 2012, seven years after Miller retired the league implemented, you guessed it, "The Reggie Miller Rule," that made it an offensive foul to leave a leg out. By next season, we might be talking about "The Trae Young Rule." But until the league legislates it out of the game, it's fair play. And it's up to the players to discover counters.
The pump-and-jump is one of the eye-rolliest plays in the game, but to an official, it's more straightforward than it appears. It's the more subtle ones, like an offensive player throwing their head back to draw attention to contact, or a big man disguising a moving screen as roll to the basket, or a big man giving a slight nudge to clear space. "It's called the Black Tornado," Shaquille O'Neal said of his savvy veteran and very legal move. "Bump, spin, bump, get you off balance and then dunk in your face. Just to let you know that you ain't strong enough and you ain't ready."

http://twitter.com/Ballislife/status/1364395318310174723
"It's really hard, it's really hard," George said. "I mean, I haven't really got into the flopping game, but in today's game, it's smart, you know what I mean? "It's smart. They control the refs. They got the refs in their pocket, so kudos to the guys who are great at that part of the game."
At the start of the drive, Leonard appeared to try to shake Harden from grabbing his left arm. Then as Leonard gathered and went up for the layup, his left forearm made contact with Harden's torso, and the referees called the foul. "My take from it is if we gonna pretty much play bully ball at the end of the game, let both sides play it," Leonard said. "But they didn't call it, so good defense. I got grabbed early, but like I said, no call, so great defense."
At this point, it's getting old and Lillard appears to be tired of it. “For me, it’s just frustrating how physical people can be when defending me in certain situations. In our last road trip, I had back-to-back games with five fouls, about to foul out just playing normal defense," said Lillard after the game. "I’m going to the rim getting smacked in the head. I’m getting grabbed. Getting slapped on the arms. Getting pushed in the back. I mean, that’s the frustrating thing for me. I'm not out here flopping and trying to trick the referees or things like that. I'm trying to score and getting hit in the head."
Of course, like many players, Lillard tries to voice his concerns during the game. But the answers he is getting from the officials are about as poor as the no-calls themselves. "I’m trying to have conversations about it and I’m getting slick looks and kind of like sarcastic answers or just dry answers. That's frustrating."
Portland was down by seven with under a minute to play. A Lillard three could have made it a four-point game and made the Wizard sweat a little. Instead, Hachimura was fouled, made two from the line and made it a nine-point game. That is basically a five-point swing, and Lillard knows it. The reason the foul wasn't called. The ref didn't see it, or so he said. "'I didn't see that' was literally the answer," Lillard said of when he asked the ref about the no-call. "I stole the ball and he ran into my back. I didn't see that? C’mon, man. To me that’s a slick comment when that’s your response. ‘I didn’t see that,’ when the whole arena saw that. So, it’s just those moments that’s frustrating when it comes to the physicality.”
The Kings were baffled by the NBA’s ruling after general manager Monte McNair discussed the incident with the league office earlier this week. Game officials gave Valanciunas a technical foul but determined no flagrant foul had occurred. After reviewing the altercation, league officials concurred, an NBA spokesman told The Sacramento Bee. “In-game, the referees ruled the act to be a dead ball physical taunt and assessed an unsportsmanlike technical foul,” the spokesman said. “Upon league office review, we agree with how it was adjudicated on court.”
Walton said he was disappointed in the league’s response, saying the NBA would have imposed harsher penalties if LeBron James or another star player had been thrown to the floor under similar circumstances. “I don’t think that’s much of a question,” Walton said. “I feel like that’s a certainty more than anything else. It’s player safety. That’s what this league is all about now. It’s come a long way since the 80s, but I think anyone who saw that play knows that it would be different if it was someone else hanging on the rim trying to land safely.”
KC Johnson: LaVine scores on a layup, wanted a foul and drew a T for arguing.
Chris Kirschner: Lloyd Pierce on the play at the end of the game: "It's really unfortunate that the game ended that way. Trae sets a great screen. It should have been a foul. We should've had the basketball after the free throw on the side. Just disappointed with the way that game ended."
Chris Kirschner: Lloyd Pierce on what the refs said after the game: "I got an answer that said, 'I spared Trae. It should've been an illegal screen.' It was a perfect screen. Willie Cauley-Stein ran Trae over. That's a foul. It blows up our play. It's unfortunate. Trae was fouled."
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