Later, the root of Wall’s frustration trickled out. By the seventh question, Wall was asked whether he’s running out of patience, and he mentioned the officiating. A team staffer responded, “Thanks, John,” as a way to end the chat with reporters and save Wall from saying anything dangerous. However, Wall did not appreciate how Lillard attempted 15 free throws compared with his five, and he wanted to express that. “I’m always positive. I’s just a lot of bull—- that — c’mon, man,” Wall said. “These guys getting all the calls, and these guys are jump shooters. You got a guy that shot the ball 12 for 29 and then shot 15 free throws.” Another staffer chimed in and warned Wall to be careful so he wouldn’t get fined by the NBA. “I don’t care about that,” Wall responded.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Shandel Richardson: Josh Richardson ejected after throwing one of his shoes in the stands. Was mad about a no-call on that missed dunk
Ira Winderman: Richardson’s fifth foul has him throwing his shoe in the stands. Technical foul and ejection today and NBA fine Monday. A Spoelstra technical foul follows.
Bobby Marks: That could be one expensive shoe that Josh Richardson just threw into the crowd. Kyrie Irving (ball), Austin Rivers (seat cushion) and Steph Curry (mouthpiece) were all fined $25K.
Anthony Slater: Second straight game that Steve Kerr has gotten a first half technical. Trying to jolt his team out of this mental malaise.
Eddie Sefko: Technical fouls on Kevin Durant and coach Steve Kerr, who really wanted his, by the way, came after Durant was called for traveling. Mavericks have had a really solid first quarter, up 26-18 with 46 seconds left.
Will Guillory: Nuggets coach Mike Malone got hit with a T and a few seconds later another one was assessed to the bench. They’ve been pretty unhappy with the calls AD has received here in the first half
Scott Agness: Victor Oladipo given his first technical foul of the season. He has been bothered by the lack of calls, especially over the last week.
James Edwards III: Casey’s on Blake’s two-game struggles: “I got to look at the film, but he’s getting hit a lot.” Said he may need to lessen the workload a smidgen.
The NBA admitting an obvious travel by 76ers center Joel Embiid was not called only added to Borrego’s frustration in comments before Sunday’s road game against the Detroit Pistons. “It’s tough. I had to read that thing last night, and it was like I had to live it all over again,” Borrego said of the NBA’s report, which acknowledged Embiid traveled with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter before making a 3-pointer that tied the game. The 76ers went on to win in overtime 133-132. “It does nothing” making peace with the error, Borrego said of the NBA’s policy of publicly acknowledging late-game mistakes in close games.
“I would hope our guys use it as fuel tonight (Sunday). I want them to use it as fuel to go and play with another (level) of edge,” Borrego said about 1 1/2 hours before tip-off against the Pistons. “It’s frustrating, it’s frustrating – especially in the last two minutes (of regulation) – the biggest plays and the biggest moments of an NBA game – to have those types of errors and the NBA acknowledged it.”
Truth be told, McCutchen can take the list from there and add, oh, a dozen or more details about how this massive adjustment in player legislation has changed the hoops landscape. But the most relatable litmus test, the thing that should be remembered as we all decide whether or not to be incensed by it all, is that McCutchen hasn’t had to change his cell phone number just yet. “Coaches and general managers most certainly have my number,” McCutchen told The Athletic. “But the phone has not been ringing off the hook. There have been some points-of-clarification calls that we have fielded, but not to the point where people are just calling up to say that this is wrong, or a debacle. I think that everyone is waiting to see about our consistency, about our will, to see if we’re going to see it through.”
“The league’s going soft, man,” Rudy Gay said. “It’s tough, man. It’s a contact sport. A contact sport. I understand that you’re changing the direction of the player, but right now it’s overboard a little bit. I mean, it’s been a point of emphasis, but you’re trying to get – you can’t touch guys. Guys are about to run, and basketball is a physical game. That’s what we lift weights for, right? “If you take the physical nature away from it, then – I mean obviously we have to adapt. It’s going to take some time. And if that’s the rule, then we’ve got to find a way to do it.” But as one general manager who will remain nameless made clear, that doesn’t mean they have to be happy about it. “They could call it every play or no plays,” he said bluntly. “Fucking absurd.”
Scott Agness: Nate McMillan has been annoyed with this officiating crew all game long. And he was just whistled for his first technical foul of the season. Rockets up 3 with 4m left.
Vincent Ellis: Crew is struggling, leading to barking player, leading refs to have rabbit ears. Ish hit with a T. #Pistons down 15.
Erik Horne: I thought Russell Westbrook was calling a play or a timeout. Nope. Dribbles straight up to official Scott Twardoski and says “That’s bullsh*t” about the previous possession. Tech.
Rod Beard: #Pistons coach Dwane Casey on whether he’d like for officials to use video review on all contact technical fouls: “I’d love them to.”
He’s 6-8 and 260 pounds (at least) and runs like a guard. He darts to the hoop but, unlike Harden or Russell Westbrook or Kyrie Irving or pick your favorite guard, his path isn’t altered when he draws the same contact. This drives him crazy, and he likes it when he gets aerial cover from his coach, his organization, and even the local beat writers covering him. In the postgame huddles he used to hold with myself, The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd and ESPN’s David McMenamin, this was often a topic. Most mornings the complaints and commiserating never made it into the next morning’s story. Occasionally he’d go on record.
It has become tougher to defend in today’s NBA, however, with the new emphasis on freedom of movement by game officials. It has become so problematic that the Pacers have reached out to Kiki Vandeweghe, executive vice president of basketball operations, to voice their concerns.
“It’s going to be a challenge for the league to call it the same. We’re calling so many fouls, a lot of it off the ball, that even during the course of the game it changes,” said McMillan, who lamented his team’s inability to stay in front of Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague in Monday’s 101-91 loss to the Timberwolves. “We’re trying to adjust to the rules with these touch fouls, grabbing and touching can be called a foul every possession down the floor. It would screw up the game. You’re not calling it every time down the floor, therefore something needs to change.”
“It could be that,” Joseph said about the freedom of movement emphasis by the league. “Our defense right now hasn’t been up to par with our rotations. On the ball it makes it a little tougher to defend because they call a lot of hand checks. We’ve just got to be even better at our rotations on the ball.”
Bob Garcia: Josh Hart on lack of calls on drives to the rim:“It’s always frustrating, but I can control what I can control & that’s my attitude moving forward. It’s frustrating but they are the referees and whatever they say goes. The only thing we can do is react to that.” #Lakers #lakeshow
After the Lakers dropped to 0-3 to start the season following a 143-142 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the steamed coach opened his postgame news conference with comments about the officiating thus far this season. “Let me start here. I wasn’t going to say anything. I was going to save my money, but I just can’t anymore,” Walton said. “It’s  points in the paint [by the Lakers] to 50, [and yet] again they outshoot us from the free-throw line — 38 free throws [to 26 by the Lakers]. Watch the play where I got a technical foul. Watch what happened to LeBron James’ arm. It’s the same thing that James Harden and Chris Paul [drew fouls on and] shot 30 free throws on us the night before. We are scoring 70 points a night. In the paint.”
Added Walton: “Watch how Josh Hart plays this game. He played 40 minutes tonight. All he does is attack the rim. Zero free throws tonight. Zero. So to me, it doesn’t matter. I know they’re young, I get that. But if we are going to play a certain way, let’s not reward people for flopping 30 feet from the hole on plays that have nothing to do with that possession. They’re just flopping just to see if they get a foul call. And then not reward players that are physically going to the basket and getting hit. It’s not right.”
Tim MacMahon: “Don’t give me those BS platitudes!” Bulls big man Robin Lopez hollered at ref Sean Corbin to earn a T. I feel the use of “platitudes” ought to keep the whistle from blowing.
Dane Moore: Anthony Tolliver picked up three fouls in his first shift — 5.5 minutes. Tolliver was exasperated as he walked back to the bench: “You can’t touch anyone anymore. Crazy.”
The Lakers-Rockets scuffle on Saturday entertained Warriors forward Draymond Green so much that he pushed back his bedtime for another 75 minutes. Green expressed annoyance, though, that the NBA handed suspensions to Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (four), Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (three) and Rockets guard Chris Paul (two) in relation to his own punishments.
“It seems like a little bit of a double standard going around this thing,” Green told Bay Area News Group. “That’s just me, though. I could be wrong. I don’t got all the answers.” Green suggested he would have received a harsher suspension had he been involved in the incident. He cited his one-game suspension in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals after receiving a Flagrant 1 foul in Game 4 for attempting to punch LeBron James in the groin after James stepped over him.
“That was garbage,” Green said. “I’m never in favor of guys losing money. But I got suspended in the NBA Finals for attempting to punch somebody. Guys punching each other are getting two games or three games. I attempted to punch somebody, and not in the face, either.” Nonetheless, Green said he “was entertained sitting there watching them fight.”
Green was asked how they fix the foul problem. “I don’t know,” Green said. “Some of them are questionable. Like Klay’s one, Gary Harris is a hell of a cutter, you got to be into his body. He’s flying off the screen to his right hand, he’s great at that. So you body up and then you get called for going over the screen, I don’t know what you do right there, but in the same sense some of the fouls we have are just dumb as hell. Like we’re in the bonus like six, seven, eight minutes to go in every quarter, we’re still fouling — so I think some of [the calls] are a bit questionable and then some of them are on us, just ridiculous.”
Warriors star Stephen Curry believes his team will adjust, but he acknowledge that the game is being called differently than it has in the past. “A lot of it is just the speed of the game,” Curry said. “You can’t really simulate defensive possessions like that in the offseason, you got to kind of adjust on the fly. It’s definitely called differently this year early, they’ve demonstrated that. So we got to adjust if that’s the way it’s going to be consistently. But that’s a common theme the first three games of the regular season, why teams have had a lot of momentum early, it’s because we put them on the free throw line. Obviously, you know how that affects the game in terms of easy points and also slowing the game down. We got to make adjustments.”
Erik Horne: Billy Donovan asking for a tech and gets it from Kane Fitzgerald. Donovan … three times: “We’ve gotten a shit whistle all night.” Fitzgerald: “You really think that’s a fair statement?” Donovan: “I do.” TECH
Connor Letourneau: Durant just picked up the T while walking to the team huddle during a timeout.
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.”
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November 20, 2018 | 3:19 am EST Update
According to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, Jordan is “hellbent” on keeping Walker in a Hornets uniform even though he is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Charania went on to note the Hornets “still want to build their franchise around” the dynamic playmaker who poured in 60 points in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
As they did, however, Markelle Fultz watched from the bench, having been benched in favor of McConnell as head coach Brett Brown tried to give his team an injection of life. And after McConnell did just that, helping lift Philadelphia to a 119-114 victory — its third straight win — Brown wouldn’t commit to either player as his backup point guard moving forward. “I don’t know,” Brown said after Monday’s win. When asked what would inform his decision, Brown said, “Just when I think it through deeper and look at tape and see who we’re playing, the next opponent, all those things I should do.”
One week after a blowout loss in Sacramento that sealed the fate of his two-month trade saga, Butler is enjoying his new reality with the Philadelphia 76ers — leading them to two straight victories, including a 28-point performance in his home debut on Friday night against Utah. He then had the game-winning 3-pointer and game-winning block to lift the Sixers past Charlotte and Kemba Walker’s 60 points on Saturday night. “Night and day,” Butler told The Athletic of his new situation.
“We learned a lot from our series against the Celtics, and we felt we needed Jimmy,” Harris told The Athletic. “Since last summer, we’ve felt we needed a third elite talent. You don’t get a chance to get this talent every day. Jimmy wants to win, and Joel and Ben want to win. That’s the bottom line.”
Brian Dulik: #Cavaliers SF Kyle Korver joking about battling former teammate @KingJames and #Lakers on Wednesday @TheQArena: “We know all of his tendencies and we know how to take them away.” #BeTheFight #NBA