Storyline: Officiating Complaints

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Ayton received his first NBA ejection after getting called for a second technical foul. Ayton came into the game having been called for one technical in 64 games. “I didn’t even know I got ejected at first,” the rookie 7-footer said after the game. “I did not know. I just sat down on the bench looking around and people are telling me I got ejected. ‘I got ejected? What’s the ejection? What is that?’ I didn’t see anybody do this (waving his hand) or throw me out or nothing.”

Doc Rivers has been a part of the NBA for 33 years as a player and coach. He thought he had seen everything until Friday night. The Los Angeles Clippers coach and Chicago’s Jim Boylen were both ejected during the third quarter at Staples Center for arguing. It is something so rare that the NBA and Elias Sports Bureau could not recall or track the last time it has happened. “I’ve been around a while and I needed something new,” Rivers said after the Clippers’ 128-121 victory.

Both started arguing near their respective benches when official Jason Phillips assessed the first technical. Boylen and Rivers continued to argue, which caused Phillips to assess the second technical and an automatic ejection. “After receiving the first technical foul, they continued a verbal exchange between both of the coaches, and therefore received a second technical foul for the continuation, and then were automatically ejected with two technical fouls each,” Phillips said in a pool report. “The first one was for the arguing, and we told (the coaches) that was enough, and then they continued.”

Paul​ George had​ saved his money. He’d​ held his​ tongue​ Thursday night in Portland​ after the Thunder​​ beat the Trail Blazers. He’d had a good night and his team had gutted out a good win and he’d worn out a path to the free-throw line, and when it was over he opted not to open up on the officials. “It’s kinda weird, because I planned on losing my money until I saw I shot 20 free throws,” George said then. “I had a lot of words for the officiating tonight, but I guess I can’t say much with 20 free throws.”
2 weeks ago via ESPN

After Oklahoma City’s Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams fouled out in the final four minutes of a 118-110 loss to the LA Clippers on Friday night at Staples Center, George ripped the officiating in the NBA and said something must be done. “It’s just bad officiating,” George said. “I’m sorry, just bad officiating. We don’t get a fair whistle. We haven’t gotten a fair whistle all year. … Somebody’s got to look into this. It’s getting out of hand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line. And there’s nobody that gets more contact. If I don’t speak for myself, I speak for Russ. There’s nobody that gets more contact than Russ going to the basket. And it’s just crazy.
3 weeks ago via ESPN

The play in question came with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter when Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb’s shoe came off near the foul line. Cousins, who was defending in the area, picked the shoe up with his right hand and tossed it to the sideline. He was whistled for a technical foul by official Brian Forte right after the shoe flew out of bounds. Cousins, who missed almost a year of play after tearing his left Achilles last season, could not believe the call and went over to Forte a couple times to plead his case. “Next time I’ll just step on the shoe and roll my ankle, break it, tear an Achilles,” Cousins said after the game. “Just leave it out there next time. I guess that’s what they want. I’ll keep that in mind.”
3 weeks ago via ESPN

Cousins’ teammates were also surprised the call was made, but Warriors forward Draymond Green made it a point to say he thought Forte officiated a solid game. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that,” Green said. “But that’s crazy. It’s sitting in the middle of the floor. I don’t know. We have all these rules for player safety. You can barely contest a shot without getting a foul, but you’re supposed to leave a shoe sitting there. It’s just kind of crazy to me, but it is what it is. I thought Brian Forte reffed a great game tonight, so that’s one call that’s a little questionable. But he was spot on with some calls, so I thought he reffed a great game.”

“At the end of the day,” Waiters said, “I feel like we played hard, we attacked, and calls didn’t go our way. You look at the fouls and things like that, man, it’s 35-12. So it’s kind of hard when you’re battling and you know you give it everything you’ve got and you can’t touch guys out there. “It’s been like that. So it’s frustrating. But at the end of the day we can only control what we can control. Something’s got to give also, man. You’ve got too many guys on this team that drive. As far as us getting in the paint, the numbers are right there and we don’t go to the free-throw line at all.”

Waiters said it’s as if the Heat’s physical reputation has been discounted on one end of the court. The Heat are 20th in free throws at 22 per game. “You know, we’re physical,” he said. “That’s what we’re known for, a physical, tough team. We’re going to make it hard every night for you. “But we’re going to put our heads down too and get to the basket, too. There’s guys like myself, I get in the paint a whole lot. I went to the free-throw line twice. Come on, man. When you look at 36-12 free throws, something’s not right.”
4 weeks ago via ESPN

“Scott Foster, man. I never really talk about officiating or anything like that, but just rude and arrogant,” said Harden, who finished with 30 points to extend his streak of 30-point performances to 32 games, the second longest in NBA history. “I mean, you aren’t able to talk to him throughout the course of the game, and it’s like, how do you build that relationship with officials? And it’s not even that call [on the sixth foul]. It’s just who he is on that floor.

Collins and Klay Thompson exchanged words, and the frustration spilled over to players from both sides. The two players were given offsetting technical fouls. Portland led 110-103 before Draymond Green was called for a flagrant foul on Collins with 3:54 left. Kerr reacted angrily, throwing his clipboard to court and yelling at the officials before he was ejected. Lillard made the three technical shots and Collins made his free throws to give Portland a 115-103 lead. Layman added a 3-pointer to all but seal the win. The Warriors finished with just 12 points in the final quarter. Green praised Kerr for standing up for him: “That was amazing, he was great. I enjoyed that.”
1 month ago via ESPN

Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s vice president of referee development and training, disagreed with the National Basketball Referees Association’s defense of a non-call of a seemingly obvious travel violation by the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal on Monday. McCutchen, who has held the position since 2017 after an on-court career as a ref for more than 25 years, offered his interpretation of the play on Tuesday. “While in some cases a fumble at the end of a dribble on the gather can be retrieved, that is not what happened on this play,” McCutchen told ESPN. “Bradley Beal gathers the ball and takes two steps, but then loses control of the ball. Once he has lost control after taking the two steps, he must regain control and pass or shoot before taking another step in order to be legal. Since he does not regain control until another step, the play is a travel.”

Bradley Beal: 😁

“I said enough last night,” Spoelstra said Monday evening. “We’re very accountable. And I know the league is really pushing for that type of accountability as well. I walked out of that building with an L on our heads. At the end of the day, you deserve it and we’ll take accountability for the things we could have done better. What I said is we just disagreed. It didn’t look right and it didn’t feel right. I understand the two-minute report. I understand the accountability. We just want them to watch the game film and understand some of the things we saw.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra opened his postgame comments with a vent about officiating. With it difficult to recall the last time that happened to this degree. “Look, NBA do not fine me. I’m allowed to say this. It ends up being 26 to 8,” he said of the Warriors’ free-throw total compared to the Heat’s. “I know nobody wants to hear that, and that’s not why we lost. “The officials, so let’s be clear about it, so I do not get fined, that’s not why we lost. But you hate to see 26 to 8 when our guys are going aggressively.”

That’s when the Warriors played for a final shot, with Durant trying to get free with his dribble for another dagger. Only he briefly lost his dribble, with the ball rolling as the Warriors forward touched it with one hand and then the other. Allowed to play on, he then hoisted an errant 3-pointer, with the rebound corralled by teammate DeMarcus Cousins. With the Warriors center fouled by Winslow on the play, he converted two free throws with 5.4 seconds to close out the scoring. “It’s a double-dribble,” Spoelstra said. “Everybody can see it. Those are tough calls to make, but everybody saw it. It’s right there in front of everybody. That should be a violation. And you can’t miss those calls.”

The ire wasn’t completely gone. With a chance to win or tie following a timeout, the Heat could only get an errant 3-point attempt from Dion Waiters when Josh Richardson, who scored a career-high 37 points, first fell to the court and then into the bench. “I don’t know if he got knocked off course,” Spoelstra said. “But I’ve said my piece. But it looked like he was coming off and had an opportunity to break free.” Richardson took over from there. “I was running to the corner for the inbounds,” he said. “I got tripped. I slid out of bounds. I got held to the bench. Nobody called it or saw it, so it is what it is.”

Fizdale claimed he had no idea why he got the second tech, which came after the Knicks intentionally fouled Harden on a fast break. It appeared Fizdale was arguing over a play at the other end. Ultimately, though, Fizdale said he felt badly about the ejection. “I never like to leave the guys on the floor — I felt I let them down,’’ he said. “I don’t know why I got ejected. I was upset. It was the end of the game. I was battling for my guys.’’

In several videos found on Twitter, it does appear that Hield does establish a dribble, lose control, pick up the basketball, and dribbles again before the winner. Pachulia said he thought it was a violation immediately. It appears that Pachulia, Reggie Bullock and Jackson relax Hield bobbles the ball. “Once he picked up the ball, he couldn’t dribble anymore,” Pachulia said. “That’s messed up. Unfortunately he did. He got by me easy because it was sort of surprising. “One-foot floater from (three-point range)? C’mon.”
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March 20, 2019 | 5:31 am EDT Update