NBA Rumor: Officiating Complaints

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Spencer Dinwiddie says Nets not getting calls because team has no superstars anymore

The Nets are 1-4 since trading Kevin Durant. And while Dinwiddie says he, Cam Thomas, Mikal Brides or any of a number of Nets can hit a clutch shot, he readily admits they’re not going to get the benefit of star treatment in those key fourth-quarter minutes that set up any such last-second finale.  Like Dinwiddie dunking on Onyeka Okongwu with 9:13 left, getting fouled but getting hit with a technical for saying “and one.” Or Young making nine free throws, including several on his same rip-through move. Or Dinwiddie being afraid to challenge the Hawks star with force on his game-winner at the buzzer.

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“That’s where you miss the superstars, especially in the fourth quarter. The stretch from six minutes to 30 [seconds] left, that’s really where you miss it. If you get fouled, if you get touched, you’re going to get the call. Every time me and Trae Young did the same move, he gets free throws. On my end, they’re like ‘Are you really shooting it?’ Well, what else was I doing? They’re like ‘I don’t know. It’s bang-bang.’ Remember that happened to me four times; that’s eight free throws. The game isn’t close. We lose by two; I had eight free throws. Trae Young got it every time.” 

Monty McCutchen attributed the missed call to “a lack of fundamentals” from the referees involved. As James drove, the baseline referee, Jacyn Goble, was in motion in an effort to gain the best angle. While Goble’s intentions were good, the end result left him in a position where he was unable to clearly see the foul. “We want our referees in a still position,” says McCutchen. “We want movement to be purposeful, meaning, ‘Oh, someone stood in front of me. I need to make a definitive step to the left one step.’ But we can’t allow ourselves to get into rapid movement at the same time that the play is coming to a head.

McCutchen says he is confident the issue that led to the missed call in Boston can be corrected and that referees will work tirelessly to be in the best position to get every call right. “It really is impactful to referees to miss calls,” says McCutchen. “They’re not flippant about it. They don’t leave with a lack of remorse. But you have to move on. You have to get to the next game. That doesn’t help the teams that were aggrieved. We understand that. But we have to continue to pursue excellent work even up against our imperfections. That way you turn one call and you sort of nip it right there instead of turning it into a progression of bad calls.”

Anthony Davis rips officiating after loss to Celtics: 'We got cheated'

“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.”

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.”

Bam Adebayo on officiating vs. Celtics: ‘It’s unprofessional when players come to try come talk to you and you don’t look at them’

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.”

Mike Budenholzer not happy with officiating

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.’ “

Ben Simmons rips refs after fouling out vs. Grizzlies

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.”

“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.

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.”

It seems obvious when the notion is presented aloud, but it’s not that there’s more rough play — there’s just less congestion for incidental contact. Almost everything has to be done with intention, thus blurring the lines. “It’s hard to get windup and impact when all 10 players are playing in the paint like Charles Barkley did,” McCutchen told Yahoo Sports. “But when you start playing in space, you get a lot more of the [Memphis wing] Dillon Brooks chase down, a lot more of the layup where someone is recovering like [Dallas’] Dorian Finney-Smith.”

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.”

Taylor Jenkins blasts officiating crew after loss vs. Timberwolves

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.”
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March 31, 2023 | 5:07 am EDT Update
Moneke is keeping an eye on him as well. “It depends on how Mike Brown is going to use him,” Moneke responded when asked if Vezenkov would be a suitable piece in Brown’s schemes. “I love the way he plays because he doesn’t need the ball to affect the game. He is shooting the ball and rebounding very well. What he is doing in the EuroLeague, they will find a way to use him in the right way, I hope for him. He is a great player, and he will be fine. He should be fine if they are telling the truth about how they want to use him.”
His stint with the Kings included just two appearances and eight NBA minutes, but the Nigerian NT member does not regret his decision to land in California. “I think it worked out the way it was supposed to. Obviously, everything would be different, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Moneke told BasketNews. “Maybe it would have been worse, maybe it would have been better. I don’t know, I cannot control that. But I am happy with the connections I made and the experience I had. I am also happy to be here in Monaco. No regrets. “Situation is very important,” he continued about the biggest lesson he learned in the NBA environment. “Situation is very, very important. Some people struggle on certain teams not because they are not good players but because they are in the wrong situation. It’s very important to play for a coach, play on a team that believes in you, and will give you opportunities to play the way you wanna play.”