Connor Letourneau: Durant just picked up the T while walking to the team huddle during a timeout.
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Dan Gilbert deleted this tweet, but we’re guessing he’s not a fan of tonight’s refs. 😬 Thoughts, @OfficialNBARefs? 📸: @SN_Ohio
SB Nation: It looks like Dan Gilbert was complaining about the lack of fouls for the Cavs at the half. (He deleted the tweet)
NBA referees will take to Twitter during Game 3 of the Finals on Wednesday night to engage fans in real time and plan to address specific plays and interpret rules. The discussion is being facilitated by the National Basketball Referees Association and will be done from its Twitter account, @OfficialNBARefs.
The referees will take questions using the hashtag #RefWatchParty. There will be a team of referees answering the questions, but they will not be identified individually. The NBA league office is not a part of this event.
If there’s one adjustment the Cavs can make for Game 3, it’s to simply move on from what happened here. “At the end of the day, if you don’t give effort and you don’t play hard, you never give yourself a chance to win,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day, you control what you can control. Just go out and play. Make or miss, you think you got fouled, you think it’s a travel — you have to get back on defense and communicate. That’s what Golden State wants. They want you to hang back, complain to the refs because they’re going to come down and knock a three in your face.”
Brian Windhorst: Tristan Thompson was asked if the Cavs feel helpless at times trying to guard Steph Curry. He dropped a string of curse words in disagreement and ended his interview. Also said: “I’m over this ref sh*t” when asked about officiating
The NBA’s new vice president and head of referee development and training, McCutchen observes the Game 1 crew move with precision from end to end. McCutchen, after a 25-year career as one the league’s most highly-regarded game officials, is pleased with what he’s witnessing tonight. It isn’t merely that the calls are decisive and clean — with the world’s top players even, at times, raising their hands in acknowledgment that they’d committed a foul — it’s how they’re being made. “It’s not about the minutiae of the 100 percent accuracy,” McCutchen says in the second quarter. “I’m looking at our positioning. Our mind is given away by our body. If we are in dependable positions, then we’re adhering to our principles and this will lead to good work. Tonight, their bodies are showing that they’re in control of their minds. And if we’re in the right places, then I trust our judgment.”
One row up and 10 seats over, Byron Spruell, the NBA’s president of league operations — and McCutchen’s boss — is similarly pleased as an exciting game with a razor-thin margin heads toward the midway point of the fourth quarter. Spruell, hired two summers ago, has presided over an initiative by the NBA to improve officiating. “This is the quality product of intense competition being played out by great players on the court and adjudicated by excellent referees,” Spruell would say the following morning. “That’s what you’re sitting there watching. In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘We’re getting another clean game.’ And then what happened happened.”
By and large, according to the league, NBA officials get the vast majority of calls correct. An independent website examining data from the controversial “last two-minutes reports” determined that more than 92 percent of calls during that period are correct. Moreover, the league’s data shows that referees in this year’s playoffs, including Game 1 of the Finals, have an accuracy rate of 92.6 percent in the last two minutes and overtime when taking into account whistles and non-calls. “NBA officiating,” McCutchen says frequently, “is about excellence, not perfection.”
Dave McMenamin: Tyronn Lue will not be fined for his postgame comments about the officiating after Game 1 of the NBA Finals, a league source told ESPN.
Following the game, Lue was particularly despondent on behalf of James, who scored 51 points in the loss. “To do what he did tonight and come out robbed, it’s just not right,” Lue said.
Tyronn Lue, Cavaliers head coach: It’s never been done before where you know he’s outside the restricted [area], and then you go there and overturn the call and say it’s a block. It’s never been done, ever, in the history of the game. And then tonight in the Finals on the biggest stage, when our team played well, played our ass off — man, it ain’t right. It ain’t right.
Chris Bosh: A lot of mistakes were made but someone should apologize to the #cavs for how the last 2 minutes & overtime were officiated #CavsVsWarriors #nbafinals2018
Plenty will be discussed following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 124-114 Game 1 loss against the Golden State Warriors. But the two plays getting the most attention happened in the final minute of regulation, with LeBron James’ overturned block/charge and JR Smith’s blunder after grabbing an offensive rebound following George Hill’s missed free throw. Here is the explanation from the NBA officials on the 50/50 call that went against Cleveland:
“I mean, they called a charge, right?” Lue said. “And LeBron was clearly four feet outside the restricted area. So it doesn’t make sense to go review something if – the review is if he’s on the line or if he’s close to the charge circle. That’s the review. He wasn’t close. So what are we reviewing? Either call a blocking foul or call an offensive foul.
Tyronn Lue: “For our team to come out and play their hearts out and compete the way we did, man, I mean, it’s bad. It’s never been done before where you know he’s outside the restricted, and then you go there and overturn the call and say it’s a block. It’s never been done, ever, in the history of the game. And then (Thursday) in the Finals on the biggest stage, when our team played well, played our (butt) off, man, it ain’t right. It ain’t right.”
James scored a playoff career-high 51 points in the loss. “To do what he did tonight and come out robbed, it’s just not right,” Lue said.
Brian Robb: Brad Stevens after being asked about officials: “You won’t hear me complain about officiating.”
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr on Draymond Green’s Game 3 technical: “I thought it was unfair.” Said they’ll reach out to the league in hopes it’ll get rescinded.
Melissa Rohlin: Draymond Green said he was confused by his first technical foul of the playoffs. “I was yelling out there every play. But I didn’t say a word when I got that one.”
Logan Murdock: Kevin Durant on Draymond’s first tech of the postseason: “Draymond knows exactly what he’s doing out there.” Durant said he didn’t think Green deserved the tech.
Shams Charania: Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for walking on court in Game 3 at halftime to “verbally confront game officials.”
Anthony Slater: First T of the playoffs for Draymond Green. Mad about that no call on Davis drive. Little chance AD was getting whistled for that charge with two fouls already.
Mark Medina: Steve Kerr got a technical foul, though it didn’t seem like he really said much. Kerr and Kevin Durant are laughing about it
Brett Dawson: NBA says a correct non-call on Rudy Gobert’s contact on the Paul George 3-point attempt last night. Says “George leans into Gobert and creates contact.”
Fred Katz: Official Ron Garretson statement on the non-call on Gobert: “Rudy Gobert jumped to the right of Paul George. Our determination was Rudy would not have made contact with Paul had he not jumped sideways into Gobert’s legal space. We determined this to be a non-call.”
Jerian Grant: Wow. That is the definition of a foul.
Josh Richardson: That was a ______ … u can’t miss that
Tim Hardaway Jr: How is that not a foul lol??
Nicolas Batum: Rudy Goby you my brother, my guy, but come on… 🤣
Garrett Temple: That wasn’t a foul????
Louis Williams: Refs 😂😂😂😂
CJ McCollum: You didn’t think that was a good no call ?
Chris Fedor: NBA Last Two Minute Report determines #Cavs LeBron James should, indeed, have been called for a goaltend. Also determines Cleveland should have kept possession on its previous offensive possession as the ball went out on Thad Young before going out on LeBron.
Here’s what Victor Oladipo, who was the one James swatted, had to say about it: “I got a step on him (LeBron James), felt like I even got grabbed on the way to the rim, tried to shoot a layup, it hit the backboard, then he blocked it. There’s replays … I guess it’s a tough plays at the time for ’em, but it was a goaltend. I mean, it’s hard to even speak on it. It just sucks, honestly. It really sucks.”
Sam Amico: LeBron James on Victor Oladipo shot at end: “I definitely thought it was a goaltend.” (Laughter from media, LeBron smiles). “Of course I didn’t think it was a goaltend.” #Cavs #Pacers #NBAPlayoffs
James, of course, saw it differently. He denied it was goaltending. 25. “I try to make plays like that all the time,” James said. “He made a heck of a move. Got me leaning right and he went left and I just tried to use my recovery speed and get back up there and make a play on the ball and I was able to make a play.”
Jaylen Brown: 🤦🏾♂️
Although the Wizards went on to win, and Beal was a delight to watch from the sidelines during the final 4:58, some hard feelings lingered into the following day. After the Wizards’ Monday practice, Beal listened closely to the beginning of a question. When the topic of “officiating” came up, Beal’s silent expression said everything. “He doesn’t want to get fined,” joked a team staffer standing nearby the exchange.
For Beal, the series has encouraged him not to predict how the officials’ whistle will blow. “Every game is different because every ref is different. Every level of play, every level of physicality, is different. I never come in with the mind-set that every call is going to be the same,” Beal said Monday. “I expect them to be different.” Beal did not break down video footage of his six Game 4 fouls. The review would have been pointless, he said. “At the end of the day, I know if I fouled a guy or not. If I fouled him, I fouled him. I know how to keep myself out of those situations moving forward,” Beal said. “But if I didn’t foul him and they called me for a foul, I know I didn’t foul him, I’m not going to change anything.”
“I don’t know, I truly believe that some of those calls are very soft,” Gortat said. “I have never seen so many soft calls in playoffs, but I have to go back to the tape and watch it again. I may be wrong and had a bad angle.”
Bradley Beal said he thought he got so emotional after fouling out that the officials might send him back to the locker room. “I was beyond emotional, beyond mad, pretty much any synonym you can add to the list,” Beal said.
Candace Buckner: Scott Brooks didn’t like the free-throw disparity after the first quarter but felt the #Wizards did foul a lot, especially when it came on DeRozan’s drives. “18 free throws is too often but we put them on the line.”
Anthony Slater: Referees just called a technical foul on David West, who sprinted into the tunnel after that last call. Warriors bench livid, I’m assuming arguing that West always goes to the tunnel to ride the bike a few minutes before entering. Weird.
Gary Washburn: Marcus Morris on getting another tech: “Game in and game out, it’s the same thing. I’m not doing a lot of chit-chat, I’m being physical and watching these other (playoff) games and they’re getting warnings. If it’s me, it’s technical foul. It’s just a quick whistle.” #Celtics
Tony Jones: Billy Donovan said there hasn’t been a two game stretch where Steven Adams has been in foul troubles: “I’m not saying they aren’t fouls,” Donovan said. “I think there were calls that could’ve gone either way, or been left alone.”
Marcus Morris is tired of the technicals. For several weeks, ever since Morris slapped an official’s rear end on his way out of a game after being tossed last month, the Boston Celtics forward has made it clear he feels targeted by the officials. “It’s just a short leash,” Morris told reporters earlier this year. “I’m seven years in, so I feel like I should get more respect. My leash should be a little longer than it is now.”
Washington Wizards All-Stars John Wall and Bradley Beal felt that officials missed a few calls during Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, and they are ready to adjust to that for Game 2. Beal said Tuesday that the Raptors were especially physical during their 114-106 victory in Game 1. “They hold and grab a lot,” Beal said at the Wizards’ shootaround before Game 2. “That is something that will be a different story tonight. Just making sure that I am constantly moving, making them tired, especially when they put Kyle [Lowry] on me, just tire him out as much as possible.”
Josh Lewenberg: Both Wall and Beal were critical of the Game 1 officiating this morning. Nothing says playoff time quite like publicly campaigning for calls – a springtime tradition like no other. “When I got to the basket at times I feel like I got fouled”- Wall.
Nick Friedell: Giannis on 6th “I don’t think that was a foul. I grabbed the ball but the ref said that I grabbed his hand. I just got to live with that call and just move forward because that’s what players do. Hopefully next time I can knock down the free throw and not get into that situation”
Ryan Ward: Kobe Bryant on tension between players & refs: “I’d allow for more physicality in the game. I’d allow for hand checking, things like that. I feel like European basketball is more physical than the NBA is right now. I think the NBA needs to be more physical.” #Lakers
Tension among players, coaches and referees is never higher than during the playoffs. And now, those relationships are under increased stress as this season has seen an erosion in decorum — not just on the court, but also behind the scenes on the executive level. It has caused parties to take some radical steps in an attempt to diffuse the situation as the postseason arrives.
All of this is happening in a season in which technical fouls are down significantly (the fewest in the past three seasons), and the NBA says its internal tracking shows little changes to the way games have been called in recent years. “There’s a narrative that has built up a life of its own,” said Monty McCutchen, who went from being the league’s highest-rated official to the head of referee training and development in another midseason move to deal with officiating concerns. “There’s part truth and part falsehood. To deny there aren’t problems is foolhardy and arrogant. We can’t live in a state of denial. We’re taking stock and seeing this as an opportunity for growth. But everyone, including the players and coaches, has to keep up their end of the communication bargain.”
A topic that came up repeatedly in discussions with stakeholders was how the league has operated differently under Silver and vice president of operations Kiki VanDeWeghe than their predecessors. According to those who communicate with him regularly, VanDeWeghe especially tends to play peacemaker more often than Rod Thorn and Stu Jackson, who held the position under David Stern. While this is welcomed by some, it can leave a gray area on rule interpretations. It was one of the reasons the unions agreed to communicate directly with each other when needed, sources said.
The hope is this will allow at least some basis for improvement in the playoffs. “The conversations at the meetings have been great. People were able to voice their concerns in an environment that didn’t include competition,” McCutchen said. “I don’t think we’re off the rails. What we’ve tried to get across is that disagreeing with a call doesn’t mean a lack of poise. Poise is an important part of all of our jobs and we’re going to keep working to find that balance.”
The league wants to avoid more headline-grabbing confrontation with the playoffs starting Saturday and stakes and emotion becoming even higher, so officials met with all 30 teams , the last of those on Monday. “We all make mistakes,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s a game. We’re all a part of it. We’re all in the NBA. The officials are part of the NBA. So we have to understand that we’re all under the same corporation.”
Former referee Monty McCutchen, now an NBA vice president overseeing referee development and training, and NBA senior vice president Michelle Johnson met with clubs to listen to their perspective. McCutchen’s biggest hope is finding a way to make communication better, on all sides. He stressed to teams that he wasn’t meeting with them solely to defend and protect officials. “Our league needs strong officials,” McCutchen said. “What we’re trying to shoot for is this idea that you can have strength without arrogance and you can show humility without having to give into weakness. And that sort of Goldilocks moment, where the porridge is just right, is the balance in which we can start to disagree about the play without being demeaning or condescending or arrogant to one another.”
Candace Buckner: Markieff Morris on the strange occurrence of him and his brother being ejected on the same night in different games last week: “I think the refs seen me get ejected in my game and said, ‘We’re going to eject his brother.’ That’s what I think. It played out just like that.”
Candace Buckner: Markieff Morris on what led to his ejection Fri night vs ATL: “I said a couple words, man. Obviously I got fined for it. I said a couple words that I would want to take back. Caught up in the emotions of the game, even though it was early...
Candace Buckner: Morris on his 1st Quarter ejection: “…and you know they got a quick trigger this year so I just had to take it.”
He has playfully tweeted at the league apologizing for his actions, but he insists he has been treated unfairly recently. “I kind of feel like I’m getting that Rasheed Wallace treatment, just, quick trigger, quick trigger,” said Morris.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he is not worried about Morris’ ejections. And Morris has pledged to not let his temper get the best of him in the playoffs. “Going in the playoffs, that’s nothing to worry about. I promise I won’t get no techs unless we’re just getting blatantly cheated,” said Morris. “I want my team to win, so I won’t put my team in jeopardy or anything like that. But I’m still passionate about the game, like I said.”
Jay King: Marcus Morris said he thought Bobby Portis entered his space. He shoved Portis. Thought the refs overreacted from there. “They’re doing too much by just throwing guys out of the game.”
Hoop District: John Wall: “When I turn the corner and get down hill, I don’t get those same calls [as LeBron James] when people put their hands on me or contact me. I already knew the play before it when I drove on LeBron, I wasn’t going to get a call so why even put myself in that position?”
Chris Forsberg: Marcus Morris explains his tweet/delete apology for ref butt smack: “I kind of felt some type of way last game because I just felt like, to me, I just felt like there was some type of animosity there [from the refs]. … I think it was a friendly tweet. Don’t you think?” pic.twitter.com/5Phgl8gMkF
Morris was ejected for jawing with Raptors players after he was fouled in the waning seconds of the Celtics’ win. He received a double technical after a verbal confrontation with CJ Miles, who initially fouled him, and then again with DeMar DeRozan while he was at the foul line. The second double technical ejected him from the game, at which point he patted Williams on the behind and left the court to a chorus of cheers. “When I first got here people knew who I was,” Morris told reporters after the game. “So it’s not different. I think they’re just starting to love me more. I think they liked me, but now they’re starting to love me, so I appreciate that.” The NBA has not issued a punishment for Morris’ actions. Players are barred from making contact with officials. The league previously fined Morris $15,000 for verbally abusing an official last month.
Morris may have been playing with fire a bit — players aren’t allowed to make contact with referees, and Morris pretty obviously made contact as he exited the floor (for an extra chuckle, watch Terry Rozier trying not to laugh in the background).
Manny Navarro: Correction: NBA’s Last 2 Minute Report says there four incorrect calls in #Heat #Nets game last night and a 3 of 4 put Brooklyn at a disadvantage, not Miami. Final “foul that wasn’t called on Wade’s drive to the basket in OT” was correct non call league says. How about that?
And now that the chippy small forward is retired and therefore free from further damage to his bank account, he is happy to torch the NBA’s disciplinary structure. “I would fire everybody in charge because they’re just out of touch,” Barnes told The Crossover by telephone last week. “The fines are ridiculous. They play favorites. These new referees are so arrogant and ego-driven. They’re handing out [technical fouls] like they’re candy to kids. That’s thousands of dollars a pop. They pay us a lot of money, but they do their best to take it back.”
Many players and some fans are aware that all fine money is donated to charity. But where exactly does all that money go? And is there anything a player can do to direct his fine towards a pet philanthropic project? “[The league] took my money and I never knew where it went,” Barnes said. “And they’re taking the money at such a high rate that it should have gone towards something that I wanted. As players, we earned the money. A $50,000 fine is a s—load of money. Let me send that to my non-profit or one of my friend’s non-profits so that I know it’s really making a difference.”
Josh Lewenberg: Long-time ref Monty McCutchen is meeting with teams as part of NBA’s effort to improve player/official communication. Doc Rivers joked he doesnt know why its happening in March but better late than never, said it was helpful. “They took away Lou’s 3pt plays so he’s still bitter”
Josh Robbins: Frank Vogel has picked up a technical foul for arguing with Tom Washington. Orlando has been whistled for 10 fouls. Philly has been whistled for five fouls.
Jovan Buha: Blazers coach Terry Stotts on his response to Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy’s comments last night about the Blazers’ physical defense and non-calls: “It could be the first time in my tenure that one of my teams was accused of being overly physical and holding and grabbing. So, yeah, I was pleased with those comments.”
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June 22, 2018 | 6:18 am EDT Update
Nearly one week before LeBron James must inform the Cleveland Cavaliers whether he intends to pick up the option on his contract with the Cavs for next season, Cleveland general manager Koby Altman said he and James’ camp have already established a “good dialogue.” “We continue to have good dialogue with his management team,” Altman said Thursday after the Cavs drafted Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick. “I think LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does. He’s done that before, so this is nothing new for us.
Cleveland went into the draft without knowing James’ intentions for next season; he has spent this week on a family vacation, multiple sources told ESPN. James has until midnight on June 29 to pick up the option or choose to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said Thursday night that the franchise’s desire is to keep disgruntled All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard in the fold but that the club “will explore all of our options.” Among the issues Leonard has had with the Spurs is his frustration with the team’s handling of a quadriceps injury that kept him out of action for all but nine games this past season. Leonard wants to be traded to Los Angeles, preferably to the Lakers, sources have told ESPN.
According to Robinson, Kawhi has to take responsibility and step up as a leader of the franchise if he wants to be viewed on the same level as LeBron James. “If you want to be a top two or three player in the league, you’ve got to be a leader. LeBron doesn’t sit around waiting for people to talk for him. LeBron gets out there and says ‘hey, this is my team, this is what’s happening.’ And I think that’s where Kawhi is. He’s meant so much for our franchise. We love him, we all want him to be there next year. But we want him to be there and take control.”
Has Riley had any conversations with Dwyane Wade, who is contemplating retirement, recently? “I haven’t talked to Dwyane,” he said. “I’ve talked to his agent. I think now over the next nine days between now and July the 1st, now we can focus on all these things. We’ve shared texts. He’s communicated on a regular basis with a lot of people in the organization, but nothing has been decided with Dwyane. We want to have Dwyane back obviously, but there’s been no discussion about next year.”
Alessandro Gentile asked the Rockets for an invite for next training camp, according to La Prealpina. Gentile was supposed to join the Rockets Summer League team in Las Vegas but he suffered a thumb injury and underwent surgery. The Italian forward will return in mid-august from the injury and would love to have a chance in the NBA.