With Collins’ sneaky athleticism he had officials apologizing and admitting they, at times, had wrongfully called a foul. “There were a couple of plays where I’d block a shot and the ref would come up to me and apologize to me and say, ‘well, you were so far away from the play, we didn’t think that you’d be able to get there, so it was a foul’.” Collins went onto say, “which I understand… I don’t think it’s like a respect thing, but hopefully they’ll know me better and they’ll know that maybe I could get there this time.”
More Rumors in this Storyline
he NBA Board of Governors today unanimously approved two changes to the instant replay rules. The first change is the introduction of a Coach’s Challenge to trigger instant replay review of a limited set of matters. A version of the Coach’s Challenge that has been in effect in the NBA G League for the last two seasons and is being used at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 will be adopted in the NBA on a one-year trial basis during the 2019-20 season.
The second change enables the NBA Replay Center (in addition to the on-court referees) to trigger instant replay in certain circumstances. This process, which was successfully tested at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 and is being used again at this year’s event, will be implemented for the 2019-20 NBA season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Besides approving coach’s challenge, Board of Governors approved replay center’s ability — in addition to game refs — to trigger instant replay. Approved circumstances include whether it’s a 2 or 3 point FG; and if a shot was made prior or after the shot clock expired.
Josh Lewenberg: As if last night’s officiating wasn’t already under fire, the NBA’s L2M report reveals that Steph Curry shuffled his feet and should have been called for a travel before making the pass that led to the Iguodala dagger on the final possession. Swell.
Patrick Patterson: So Curry just ran on the court to celebrate with Cook during live play.. what y’all gonna do about that? @NBA @OfficialNBARefs
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard believed there was contact before Andre Iguodala’s strip that sealed the Golden State Warriors’ 114-111 win in Thursday night’s Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, but he didn’t blame the referees for not blowing the whistle. After the Warriors fouled with 10 seconds remaining, Lillard isolated against Iguodala on the left wing, attempting to create space to shoot a 3-pointer that would have tied the score.
Speaking of Tuesday’s GMs meeting: Multiple sources say the liveliest topic of discussion centered around the possibility of implementing a coach’s challenge at some point soon. Some in the room favored a more limited challenge system focused on black-and-white rulings: out of bounds plays, goaltending, and the like — but not fouls. Others argued coaches should be able to challenge foul calls. The league would likely favor the more restricted concept, if anything. Allowing coaches to challenge fouls is something of a Pandora’s box. Should they be able to challenge non-calls, too? There was also discussion of whether a challenge should cost a team one timeout regardless of whether the coach “wins” or “loses” the challenge. Some in the room were wary of coaches using the challenge to create an extra timeout. Also: What if a team is out of timeouts?
Also discussed, per sources: stationing a “replay official” at the scorer’s table who could make some determinations (was that shot a 2-pointer or a 3-pointer?) without stopping play, and flag other plays right away so that referees would not have to huddle up and decide whether to trigger review. Thumbs up!
Gary Washburn: Hearing Kyrie Irving will NOT be fined for his Game 3 postgame comments about the officiating. #Celtics #Bucks.
Harrison Wind: Stotts on the shoulder Jokic gave Kanter on the foul line box out in Game 3: “I have seen it and I think it was uncalled for. I don’t know if the league will review it or not. I certainly didn’t approve of it.”
Enes Kanter: Take a freaking look at this please @OfficialNBARefs @NBAOfficial
Ben Golliver: After Game 3 loss to Bucks, Celtics’ Kyrie Irving on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s free throw attempts: “He shot 22 on the game. It’s getting ridiculous at this point. It’s slowing the f—ing game down.”
“We know how many free throws [Antetokounmpo] has shot per game,” Irving said. “He’s a great player in our league. We know how many times he goes to the basket and gets contact. We also know how many times we go to the basket and get contact. “It’s a playoff game. Guys are playing very aggressive. When you get into the bonus with 8 minutes left in the third, it’s a shocker. It will put something in your mind where you don’t want to touch anyone.”
After everything that happened in the wake of Game 1, when the Rockets were incensed with the officials and The Athletic story that followed fueled so much worldwide disdain for their Beautiful Mind style system, one had to wonder: How did all of the reaction land with Morey, who built this program that is designed for players to play the probabilities on a basketball floor as if it were a craps table? “I mean, I’ve been dealing with it for a while,” Morey said before deciding not to go any farther.
Spend half an hour talking to NBA vice president of referee development and training Monty McCutchen about this week’s hot topic — a divide between players and officials overshadowing the start of the league’s highest-profile series — and you get the feeling that conspiracy theories so often floated by fans, players, coaches and even general managers are mostly laughable. “It really is,” McCutchen told Yahoo Sports by phone on Wednesday. “That’s often the case. What’s on the inside is much more normal and mundane than human. We’re trying to get plays right. We want to serve the game well. We have the same desires individually for success in our careers that other people do in their careers, and you do that by being impartial and upholding standards with a certain resolve and will. You most certainly don’t do that by being vindictive and living through your emotions. I’m proud of our group that they consistently do good work.”
Several themes ran through our discussion, none more than the constant battle against public perception to ensure the game he loves remains impartial. McCutchen is essentially tasked with molding the NBA’s referees into a robot army capable of upholding standards void of emotion. “It’s like a race-car driver,” said McCutchen. “If you and I start driving 75 or 80 miles per hour, we might start to feel really uncomfortable behind the wheel. Like, I don’t feel like I’m able to take in the necessary information that allows me to be a good decision-maker at higher speeds, and those aren’t even high speeds compared to a race-car driver, but because they’ve trained, they’re able to process that information in ways that you and I can’t. It’s the same for referees.”
“If people can’t remove themselves from those emotions, then they’re not capable of working this time of year or they expose that they’re not capable if given the opportunity and can no longer handle this, and they go backwards instead of forwards,” said McCutchen. “It’s all in the training. If we don’t train well, then we have to live with the results of giving into our emotions, but don’t mistake in my opinion the fact that refereeing is not the same as playing. “Playing is a much different emotional experience, because you’re banging, you’re playing a physical game. It’s much different as a referee, where your job is to rise above emotion and get to standards. If we can uphold standards, then we’ve had a successful night, which is sort of the antithesis of emotion. You’re saying to yourself, ‘It doesn’t matter what the situation is, I have a standard to uphold.’ Through our process of vetting who’s having the best years, we feel highly confident — not perfect — that we have the people to rise above and uphold our standards.”
A. Sherrod Blakely: Marcus Morris heard about Giannis Antetokounmpo accusing the #Celtics of excessive fouling. “Please! Borderline not fouling his ass, with him getting calls,” Mook said. “That just shows we’re probably getting to him by now.”
It did not match the extent the Rockets had at the beginning of this playoff series. Nonetheless, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the team plans to ask the NBA league office to rescind a double technical issued to Draymond Green and Nene late in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 115-119 Game 2 win over Houston on Tuesday at Oracle Arena. Green has four technicals, leaving him three shy of receiving a one-game suspension during the playoffs without pay. “Every time there’s an altercation, it’s a double technical. If you’re playing in the playoffs for a few rounds, those add up,” Kerr said. “If the way to handle it is to call a double technical, I think the league needs to consider that.”
It appears likely the NBA will rescind the double technicals based on recent precedent. Following Game 3 of the Warriors’ first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA rescinded a double technical on Kevin Durant and JaMychal Green. After Green fouled Durant on a hard screen, the two players engaged with what appeared to be playful banter as the two walked toward the other side of the court. Both players looked perplexed after they were issued with double technicals. “It’s a competitive atmosphere out there,” Kerr said. “It’s a playoff game. Guys are going to get tangled up.”
“I think both teams just realized what the hell was going on the last two days,” Green said. “You can’t really turn a blind eye to anything in today’s day and age, with social media and all these things. So everyone was aware of all the talk about officiating and about foul calls — come out and play the game. And I think both teams did a great job of that. “They weren’t complaining about many calls, we weren’t complaining about many calls, because it’s kind of embarrassing for the game of basketball, how much has been talked about, about fouls and officiating. What about beating your man? What about stopping your man? No one talked anything about schemes the last two days. It’s all been about foul calls. I think both teams were locked in on coming out and playing the game to the best of their ability. You have to give credit to both clubs, both teams did that.”
After arguing with referees about many calls throughout Game 1, both teams showed noticeably less emotion toward the officials at the start of Game 2. Neither team had many complaints about the officiating after Tuesday night’s game. “I didn’t even notice the officiating,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I don’t think anybody did. I think that’s the best compliment you can give them. They did a great job. This game was just about basketball.”
“My brother is a referee,” Iguodala told Yahoo Sports. “He’s on the cusp of trying to get to the next level and I ask him a lot of questions. More times than not, he’s saying the referees are right. But my questions to him, and this is the one that gets him, is how do teams guard Steph and Klay [Thompson]? And he says, ‘Oh, they get hacked every time. He says Steph gets fouled 80 percent of the possessions that he’s in. He’s getting held, he’s getting pulled. They just hold him down.’ And teams are like, just get physical with him. We see all the memes where somebody is just knocking Steph down and it’s funny, right? But you never see it on the other side. You don’t see us knocking other people down and it becoming something because it’s just a foul. Foul, foul, foul, foul, foul.”
Sam Amick: Since the tallies from the NBA’s 48 minute report are now officially a thing, we have an update: Source tells @TheAthletic that the league’s report from Game 1 of Warriors vs. Rockets indicated 17 missed calls for Houston and 11 for Golden State
There’s been talk for years that the way to fix bad calls is to have robot or computer refs take the court over (seems terrifying), but when we got Gobert out he said all that ain’t necessary. “I think it would take something away from the game if you do that.” Gobert, one of the best defensive players in the league, says that carbon-based refs are fine, as long as the players are able to have honest talks with them. “Dialogue is the most important thing.”
Brian Windhorst: Veteran official Scott Foster has been assigned to Warriors-Rockets tonight. Chris Paul, James Harden & Rockets have a long-running feud with Foster. He hasn’t worked a Rockets game since February, when Harden was fined for criticizing him after fouling out of a game in LA.
Daryl Morey: syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/2676885-st…
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr enters his presser, flops on a reporter and jokes it should be a foul. He then discusses the noise coming out of the Rockets camp at length. pic.twitter.com/KS0PC8DmvE
Mark Berman: Mike D’Antoni says he’s over being upset about the game 1 officiating: “Yesterday I should have invited u guys.I had a great pity party.I was by myself.Nobody showed up but me..It’s part of the game.I felt sorry for myself.Nobody really helped me out.I got thru it & I’ll be fine” pic.twitter.com/EP5LCvlM0o
Logan Murdock: Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni was asked about the L2M report. D’Antoni’s response: “Hey you know what, yesterday, I shouldn’t have invited you all to my pity party… it was all myself. Nobody was invited but me.. pic.twitter.com/JcPijrZ63t
Anthony Slater: Steph Curry’s response to Houston’s noise about the referees: “Sucks that that’s the narrative.” Said Warriors could find 10-15 missed calls on the other side and clip them together. pic.twitter.com/kQDjwn5dUy
The Houston Rockets believe officiating in last season’s Western Conference finals cost them an NBA championship, and in a report since sent to the league, tabulated the net result of 81 potential missed calls and non-calls in Game 7 of that series between Houston and the Golden State Warriors, according to the report and an accompanying memo, both of which have been obtained by ESPN. “Referees likely changed the eventual NBA champion,” says the memo, addressed to Byron Spruell, the NBA’s president of league operations. “There can no be no worse result for the NBA.”
The full report obtained by ESPN lists 81 total calls, non-calls and violations. It concludes that those 81 instances cost Houston a total of 18.6 points in that game. In its own reports, the league does not attach point values to missed calls and non-calls. “As we told the Rockets, we do not agree with their methodology,” Mike Bass, an NBA spokesman, told ESPN on Monday.
Mark Berman: Chris Paul says he has spoken with the NBA about getting the second technical/auto ejection, didn’t realize he made contact with the ref, considered it “incidental,” not concerned about further repercussions pic.twitter.com/lAlK8w9bwp
Drew Shiller: According to the Last Two Minute Report: 1) Chris Paul didn’t foul Kevin Durant 2) Draymond Green didn’t foul James Harden 3) Steph Curry fouled Eric Gordon pic.twitter.com/xPT5r62vHS
No, this was about the NBA’s most analytically minded organization deciding long ago that all the data in this heavy-hitter matchup proves their point: The Warriors, as they see it, are getting the kind of officiating edge that simply must be stopped. And Game 1 – which was refereed by Zarba, Josh Tiven and Courtney Kirkland – confirmed their fears that this playoff battle with the Warriors might be just as painful as the last when it comes to the officiating.
By the Rockets’ internal count from their video crew, there were eight attempted 3-pointers that should have been fouls in Game 1 – good for 24 free throw attempts that would’ve certainly decided the game. There was insult added to injury on that front as well, with D’Antoni and Harden both saying officials told them at halftime they had missed foul calls on four Rockets 3-point attempts.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Rockets have been making a data-driven case with the NBA for quite some time that these Super Team Warriors are getting a major officiating advantage in these heavy-hitter matchups. And of all the specific examples that have been discussed with league officials, none has left them more suspect of the system than the 2018 Western Conference Finals. This series opener, more than anything, was salt being poured directly into that Rockets wound.
And after the Rockets went through every line, tallying all the missed calls for each team and adding up the potential points that were lost along the way, it wasn’t pretty: The Rockets, according to the sources, had a double-digit point deficit in six of the seven games (and a small edge in Game 2). In all, sources say, they were harmed to the tune of 93 points
“Call the game how it’s supposed to be called and that’s it,” Harden said. “And I’ll live with the results. … We all know what happened a few years back with Kawhi. That can change the entire series. Just call the game the way it’s supposed to be called and we’ll live with the results. It’s plain and simple.”
“To shoot a 3-and-1, get a tech, I mean, it’s tough,” Paul said. “But I gotta be smarter because that didn’t do nothing but hurt our team.”
Paul was ejected after receiving his second technical foul with 4.4 seconds remaining. He appeared to make contact with referee Josh Tiven. Asked about the incident, Paul said, “I ain’t seen it yet.” Team sources believe that any contact between Paul and Tiven was minimal and inadvertent and should not merit any discipline from the league office.
Jared Dudley: I don’t like the flop but that’s a foul.. look where Livingston jump from and land, then look at his hand that contested the shot.. The other camera view shows it all
Kristian Winfield: Draymond Green on James Harden complaining about landing zone fouls: “I’ve been fouled by James on a James three-pointer before. I’m not tryna hear that.”
Jonathan Feigen: Eric Gordon on the calls the Rockets believed they should have gotten when the Warriors contested 3s: “All I’m going to say is we’ve been getting them all year. It should be no different now.”
Ben Golliver: Rockets’ James Harden on lack of fouls on Warriors sliding under three-point shots: “I just want a fair chance. We saw what happened with Kawhi [Leonard] a few years back. Call the game like it’s supposed to be called.”
Tim MacMahon: Mike D’Antoni says refs admitted at halftime they missed fouls on Warriors closing out on James Harden. “They missed four of them. That’s 12 foul shots.”
David Hardisty: D’Antoni: “We need to just suck it up and don’t worry about how they officiate and sit there and take it. I’m getting a little old for that, but that’s just how it goes. I try not to curse or completely be a jerk, but obviously it didn’t work. I don’t know. It’s beyond me.”
Mark Cuban: It’s on the @nba competition committee to get rid of the side to side foul. The defender has every right to the space. Offensive players are smart enough to take advantage of this. It’s not on the refs. It’s league stupidity
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr publicly lobbied Saturday for the NBA office to reconsider its procedure for suspending players for technical fouls accumulated in the playoffs, a suggestion he has previously made behind the scenes in the offseason.
“Well, if we go to Finals, I think Draymond (Green) and Kevin (Durant) are each on pace for about 42 technicals and six suspensions, so hopefully we can withstand that,” Kerr said, cracking a smile before becoming serious. “I will never understand the rule that everybody falls under the exact same category, in terms of whether you lose in four games in the first round or you play 25 games and you go to the Finals, that it’s the same technical fouls points that lead to a suspension. It seems strange.”
Kerr said he isn’t certain how the league should handle suspensions for technical during the playoffs, but he hopes the league office will consider a change. “I don’t know. That’s a good question,” Kerr said when asked how he would change the policy. “Series by series or maybe every two series. Just the way it is now doesn’t make a ton of sense. I’d like to see it revisited, but that’s coming from a guy whose team gets a lot of technical fouls and plays deep in the playoffs. So I’m a little biased.”
Denver coach Mike Malone said the league agreed with the Nuggets’ claim that Poeltl’s play has been questionable, although Malone said he didn’t know why it hasn’t resulted in closer scrutiny from game officials. “I think there have been some illegal screens that have been missed, and the response from the league has been that we’re right,” Malone said after Thursday after the Spurs’ 120-103 win in Game 6. “But for some reason, they don’t catch them during the game. Obviously, Jamal got taken out on that play. I don’t know if it was dirty or not. I don’t think Jakob Poeltl is a dirty player, I really don’t, but I have to watch the film to see how that happened and how Jamal went down with that injury.”
The Spurs eventually pulled away, winning 120-103, to force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Saturday, but Nuggets coach Michael Malone still had questions about the play. “I think there have been some illegal screens that have been missed, and the response from the league (after the Nuggets submitted the plays for review) has been that we’re right,” Malone said. “But for some reason, they don’t catch them during the game. Obviously Jamal got taken out on that play. I don’t know if it was dirty or not.”
Kerr, asked about a sequence in which Draymond Green was assessed a technical foul in Wednesday night’s 129-121 loss, said Beverley had duped the referee into a poor call. “I didn’t think it was a good call,” Kerr said. “You know Beverley’s going to flop, and Draymond turned; it looked like Tyson punched him in the face.”
Kerr said he thought Green had been clapping and trying and get the Oracle Arena crowd more into the game when he was called for the technical. “Beverley’s good at that,” Kerr said. “His head literally snaps back. I worry he’s going to get whiplash on some of these flops. But he’s good at it. And the refs, they’re often times partial to the little guy whose down there.”
I’ve talked to people across the league about this issue. Players, coaches, referees, union leadership and the league office. Everyone has their position and their theory. I’ve been told the experience level of the referees has dwindled with a number of veteran retirements or reassignments, and that younger officials have thinner skin and won’t allow a healthy dialogue. And a couple more of the top officials are planning retirement or transfers after this season, by the way.
I’ve been told there are more replays and video sharing, and so when referees do make mistakes, the mistakes are magnified. Just as the last-two-minute reports, aka L2Ms, only push officials’ mistakes into a fresh news cycle when nothing can be done about them. And it hurts officials’ reputations. I’ve been told short memories cause issues. For example, the Warriors (and plenty of fans) flipped out during that game in Minnesota because Kevin Durant was called for wrapping up Karl-Anthony Towns as he went to the basket in the final second. Last weekend, the Nets’ Jarrett Allen was wrapped up by the Sixers’ Tobias Harris and it wasn’t called, a mistake acknowledged by the league. The howling was equal for both — everyone wants it both ways.
Mark Medina: Steph Curry on dealing with the foul trouble. He said he thinks the officiating has been consistent, and hasn’t factored into his foul trouble pic.twitter.com/WDqUwuzPaw
Mark Medina: Steve Kerr: “I think the officiating has been good.” pic.twitter.com/na84cmSMwU
Ben Golliver: Pistons’ Blake Griffin on FT disparity in Game 4 loss to Bucks: “That was the story. Giannis shooting 8 more free throws than our entire team is not going to win a game like that. Some of that is on us but some of that is a little out of our control. That messed up the flow.”
Ben Golliver: Pistons’ Blake Griffin on FT disparity in Game 4 loss to Bucks: “That was the story. Giannis shooting 8 more free throws than our entire team is not going to win a game like that. Some of that is on us but some of that is a little out of our control. That messed up the flow.”
Joseph Tsai: My partners and I have spoken and the entire Nets ownership group support our GM Sean Marks for protesting the wrong calls and missed calls. NBA rules are rules and we respect that, but our players and fans expect things to be fair.
“So the big point of emphasis this year was the wrapping, wrapping the player when he rolls to the rim,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said after Saturday’s game. “Judge for yourself if you watch the clip, but there was a clear wrap by Tobias Harris on the roll. “I am just disappointed. That was a point of emphasis on day one at the coaches’ meetings — that they were going to emphasize that at the beginning of the game, the end of the game and all season. So how that all of a sudden doesn’t become a foul on the wrap, I don’t understand that.”
Joe Tsai: My partners and I have spoken and the entire Nets ownership group support our GM Sean Marks for protesting the wrong calls and missed calls. NBA rules are rules and we respect that, but our players and fans expect things to be fair.
Greg Logan: Here’s a nugget for all my #Nets followers, especially newbies: Told one #Nets player that #KennyAtkinson departed from norm to rip refs over non-call at end on #JarretAllen drive. He basically said it will keep happening until refs buy into fact that #Nets are good. Then change.
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August 20, 2019 | 3:15 pm EDT Update
Jared Dudley: This isn’t Melo vs myself, That man is a 1st ballot HOFer.. We all want to see him back in the league.. Royce seems uniformed when he speaks and this situation in calling my name out. This league is not about who’s better then who it’s what’s players make for the best Team.
Ian Begley: The Westchester Knicks announce that Derrick Alston has been hired as head coach to replace Mike Miller, who will join David Fizdale’s staff. Alston, a former NBA player, was a Westchester assistant for 4 years. He previously was a player development coach w/the Houston Rockets.
David Thorpe: The Clippers enter the 2019-20 season with huge expectations. It’s fair to say that if Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy once the playoffs start, the Clippers are real contenders. Lowering the risk of injury is as high a priority as any single goal they can set. Meanwhile, the Clippers’ lack of perimeter depth in their roster ranks almost as high–they are short on long, athletic wings off the bench. Their coach, Doc Rivers, can address both issues when he first talks to his team just before camp opens in late September. Imagine a team dinner, with all the staff and players, as Rivers starts to speak: “Men, I need you to write down on the calendar in front of you, in pencil, the most important dates of your year, through the middle of April. Your wife’s birthday, your anniversary, the day your children were born, significant dates for your parents, a due date for a baby perhaps. Whatever matters to you and your family. “
David Thorpe: I saw the video last week of DeMarcus Cousins falling down with a reportedly torn ACL. He was not touched. But as someone who has been involved with summer basketball since 1988, I must admit that I’m confused to see so many professionals playing full-court 5-on-5 in the summer. Players would be better off not playing these games. If we can agree that the in-season schedule is at least part of the reason for some of the injuries players have absorbed, can we also agree that in general, games themselves come with more risk than workouts?
SLAM: It’s been a crazy free agency. What were some of your thoughts on the signings? Scottie Pippen: I still think that Houston is going to be one of the teams that’s going to have the upper edge because they’ve been together with the one addition of bringing in [Russell] Westbrook, who can propel them to the top or to the bottom. It’s going to be an interesting season for not only the Houston Rockets, but the Lakers and Clippers. It’s going to be an interesting season for some teams on the East like Brooklyn. What can Kyrie [Irving] do? He’s going to have a year to go in and establish himself. More than any player in the game, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on him because people are used to seeing him have success and be amongst some of the top teams in the League. It’s not going to be that easy now and it wasn’t easy for him last year [in Boston]. This is—I don’t want to say it’s going to be a make-or-break situation for him—but I think a lot of eyes are on him to see if he has that ability to win again.
SLAM: So who’s the better team: Clippers or Lakers? Scottie Pippen: I would probably say the Clippers just because of where they were last year and the players that they have. They already have the confidence and feel like last year they dominated the Lakers. Now, you give them the Finals MVP [Kawhi Leonard] and one of the top defenders in the game in Paul George. That sends their confidence up through the roof. With the Lakers, I don’t think a guy going into his 17th season can really carry a team the way he needs to carry [it].