5 vs 8: Where we discuss the quality (or lack thereof) of NBA Playoff Officiating

lexrageorge

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They screwed Smart over on B2B plays and now blew the Draymond call. Lol

Edit: Wow I’m surprised that Green foul want overturned. That was weak too. These zebras are clownshoes tonight.
Those are the unforced errors by the officials that really make the game less enjoyable.
 

Ed Hillel

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Maybe they should stop using their worst officials in the biggest games and just let the good ones call more games? The Game 1 crew was amazing, let’s follow it up with Tony Brothers and Zarba. Ok then.
 

djbayko

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Edit: Wow I’m surprised that Green foul want overturned. That was weak too. These zebras are clownshoes tonight.
Which is it? Last game, you were arguing that they're never going to overturn the Al call because there was contact (nevermind the fact that Curry created the contact with his arm push off). If they overturned that Green foul tonight, it would have been hilarious.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Payton tripping himself and called in the act of shooting, the Klay push off, and the Marcus blocking foul. These plays not being called correctly was both absurd and preposterous and I’ve got a hair across my ass on these three specifically. They don’t get more obvious than that. Each a different kind of foul with the actual correct call obvious for anyone to see.
 
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djbayko

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Bear in mind that Draymond did not receive a technical for this, yet two Celtics have picked one up tonight - including Smart at a critical point in the fourth quarter. The double standard that goes on in this league is a joke.

On the street, when you stare someone down like that, you're looking for a fight.
 

djbayko

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Holy shit is it bad tonight. Missed a guy tripping himself who wasn’t shooting, foul on the Celtics, 2 free throws. Steph flips the ball out of bounds with .5 left. Warriors balls.
This one was so bad. Should have been a turnover. Sometimes they completely miss the action and blow the whistle based on falls.
 

tbb345

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Bear in mind that Draymond did not receive a technical for this, yet two Celtics have picked one up tonight - including Smart at a critical point in the fourth quarter. The double standard that goes on in this league is a joke.

Two technicals for the Celtics that wouldn’t even make the top 100 Draymond moments of this series. Fucking laughable.

The refs sucked both ways tonight but still heavily favored Golden State. That was some embarrassing home cooking there. I expect the Game 6 whistle to be very favorable to the Celtics.
 

tbb345

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One sequence stands out to me…Poole smokes a bunny and the refs completely bail him out by calling a foul on White (there looked to be 0 contact).
Very next Celtics possession, Smart drives into the teeth of the defense, takes a bunch of contact, falls to the floor missing the lay up. No foul called
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm back to jonesing for some Scott Foster. Brothers and Davis are just shockingly bad. And they're home court refs to boot. Terrible combination. Kudos to Marcus for not getting thrown out after the shaft job that he got.

There was a lot of "they have to play through that" talk after game 2, but when they "played through that", they were the ones called. It wasn't just whistle-swallowing. It was inconsistent application of the rules and phantom calls. Terrible showing.
 

scottyno

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Celtics now 3-13 overall and 0-5 in Games 5-7 reffed by Brothers in the past decade (postseason). Crazy.
And I believe he called both Ts, and the joke offensive foul on Smart. He also started yelling at the Cs bench at another point during the game.
 

soxin6

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Brothers is only employed because this is what the NBA wants. Everyone knew what to expect in this game and he did not disappoint. As long as the league trots out trash refs like him, fans will continue to leave the game.
 

BaseballJones

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Is there actual data that can be accessed (without rewatching the game in detail) that shows how many fouls (and Ts) each ref called on each team? Like, I'm curious how Brothers, specifically, reffed the game. Not the crew as a whole, but Brothers in particular.
 

BaseballJones

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BTW, one thing the NBA should consider is keeping the same ref crew (maybe four guys and rotate each game so three ref and one sits) the entire series. That way there'd be far less variance from game to game. Obviously in the NFL the Super Bowl is just one game, but in the World Series, you have the same umpiring crew all series long. In the NHL, there are five refs and five linesmen that rotate all Stanley Cup finals, so you might not get the same four officials for any single game, but you're working with the same smallish pool of officials.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Sure but then you lose the opportunity to reward all of the league’s best officials for their stalwart season-long efforts.

/s
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Smart, of all people, should know that when you raise your left arm like that, it invites flopping from a turd like Poole. Clear bad flop and call but why raise your arm like that? He didn’t need to do it.

Still, though, I’m sick of refs falling for this shit time and time again.
He raised his arm because Poole grabbed it, so he was trying to pull it away, and as he did so Poole released the arm, so the force intended to free it, now without resistance, sent it upward. What’s he supposed to do, stand there and let Poole hold his arm during the inbound play?
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I'm back to jonesing for some Scott Foster. Brothers and Davis are just shockingly bad. And they're home court refs to boot. Terrible combination. Kudos to Marcus for not getting thrown out after the shaft job that he got.

There was a lot of "they have to play through that" talk after game 2, but when they "played through that", they were the ones called. It wasn't just whistle-swallowing. It was inconsistent application of the rules and phantom calls. Terrible showing.
Scott Foster gets a lot of deserved hate for the Donaghy thing and the weirdness with Chris Paul but I think he’s legit one of the best in the game. Haven’t had much to complain about him all playoffs long.
 

BigSoxFan

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He raised his arm because Poole grabbed it, so he was trying to pull it away, and as he did so Poole released the arm, so the force intended to free it, now without resistance, sent it upward. What’s he supposed to do, stand there and let Poole hold his arm during the inbound play?
No, he doesn’t have to stand there. He’s allowed to move his feet too. Poole releasing his arm didn’t cause the arm to go up. That was a “get off me” move, which was entirely justified and should have been a no call.

What Smart should have done, IMO, is fake a cut left and then quickly cut right. Being stationary made it easier for Poole to conceal the grab and then exaggerate reaction.

But, end of the day, it’s on the refs to call that fairly. And they didn’t.
 

JCizzle

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They called that foul on Smart because he just got a T and they wanted to send him a message. Someone could’ve clotheslined him there and Smart was still getting whistled. It’s petty and predictable.
 

tims4wins

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They called that foul on Smart because he just got a T and they wanted to send him a message. Someone could’ve clotheslined him there and Smart was still getting whistled. It’s petty and predictable.
I thought we said after game 2 that after Draymond got T’d up it gave him free reign? It can’t be both ways.
 

Bleedred

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The officiating sucked, and I agree that it absolutely takes away from the pleasure of watching games, but it's not why we lost.
 

the moops

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I just don't know how at this point they can't have instantaneous replay that reverses obvious missed calls. No going to the monitor. No stoppage of play. Just an ear piece in the head official's ear that tells him they fucked up and the call is being reversed. Out of bounds, flops, goaltends, charges, all that shit is easy to call. Sure, they may miss one here or there, or even reverse an correct call occasionally, but it has gotta be better than the guessing these guys do.
 

Toe Nash

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Nah that's BS as we have seen good officials do fine. No one expects perfection, just consistency and competence.
 

tbb345

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And I believe he called both Ts, and the joke offensive foul on Smart. He also started yelling at the Cs bench at another point during the game.
Im sorry but I can’t let this stand….Marc Davis has worked hard on his refball craft to become a superstar and he deserves his credit!!! He called the first tech on Ime.

(as well as some other shockingly bad calls, he was worse than Brothers…which is saying a lot)
 

tbb345

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I thought we said after game 2 that after Draymond got T’d up it gave him free reign? It can’t be both ways.
Well no…the argument was that Draymond wouldn’t get a 2nd T there so he was allowed to make questionable plays that went up to the line of a T
 

HomeRunBaker

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And I believe he called both Ts, and the joke offensive foul on Smart. He also started yelling at the Cs bench at another point during the game.
He didn’t call Smart’s second T after the offensive foul for hitting Payton in the face after Marcus fired the ball 50 feet to his basket. Instead we got a gracious warning for delay of game.
Which is it? Last game, you were arguing that they're never going to overturn the Al call because there was contact (nevermind the fact that Curry created the contact with his arm push off). If they overturned that Green foul tonight, it would have been hilarious.
I didn’t think there was contact but I was in a hotel and couldn’t rewind.
 

tims4wins

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Well no…the argument was that Draymond wouldn’t get a 2nd T there so he was allowed to make questionable plays that went up to the line of a T
Fair, but I'm not buying that Smart was called for the foul because they had just T'd him up. I think they called it because Brothers didn't see the initial arm grab by Poole because he was looking at Tatum inbounding the ball, and only saw the back half of the play, and made an assumption. Which is basically how most bad calls in the NBA happen (and maybe all sports), the official assumes something happened.
 

Dave Stapleton

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I think Foster gets Game 7…no idea who Game 6 crew will be
I think you’re right which is better for the Cs if they get there. There are a few homer refs on the finals rotation that would be good for tomorrow. If there’s any positives from last night it’s that Davis and Brothers are likely done.

Oh and how interesting that no one has mentioned the 3rd official. Basically went unnoticed.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Nah that's BS as we have seen good officials do fine. No one expects perfection, just consistency and competence.
I don't think these ideas are mutually exclusive and I think the best officials generally help prove the point of the overall difficulty in that they don't over-whistle and are more likely to let the game flow as it will. The best refs are like game manager QBs—take what the players give you. I think you can do a pretty good job as a ref sticking mostly to calling the obvious fouls that occur in the open floor/clear-view situations, not suffering bullshit (flopping, jump shooters contorting their way to contact, incessant whining), and letting them play in the paint. That approach takes away a lot of the guessing game elements.

The worst refs otoh like to control the game, call a lot of anticipatory whistles, are easily duped, etc.

I also have always agreed with the point that the league became skittish in general after the Malice, including the racist dress code announced soon after.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I think Foster gets Game 7…no idea who Game 6 crew will be
Wouldn’t “The Extender” be the ideal guy to get game 6, since the financial incentive to push to a game 7 is the primary motivator for the league once the series is at 3-2?
 

HomeRunBaker

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You can argue that Smart went down very easily there despite the push. I'd then argue that Poole and GP2 each go down quite easily as well and it doesn't seem to hurt their whistle.
Remember when Draymond fell pretty much on his own in the 1H? I’m watching like nice job refs for not falling for the flop……then instead of calling a quick jump ball or allowing play to continue, Jaylen got whistled for jumping on him. So damn marginal.
 

tbb345

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Wouldn’t “The Extender” be the ideal guy to get game 6, since the financial incentive to push to a game 7 is the primary motivator for the league once the series is at 3-2?
Yes I get that but I also think Foster is legitimately one of the better refs in the game and doesn’t seem to be so influenced by a home crowd (aka perfect for a Game 7).

I think Game 6 will be reffed by a crew really susceptible to some home cooking (my guess is Eric Lewis is one of the choices) while 7 will be the better refs…

Someone on Twitter guessed Eric Lewis, Guthrie and Goble for 6 and Zarba and Foster for 7….I am hoping that Zarba just disappears and he doesn’t have to be involved anymore
 

Bleedred

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Remember when Draymond fell pretty much on his own in the 1H? I’m watching like nice job refs for not falling for the flop……then instead of calling a quick jump ball or allowing play to continue, Jaylen got whistled for jumping on him. So damn marginal.
This is the one type of play that I actually appreciate the refs calling a foul on JB. I think they called Draymond earlier in the series for a similar foul. Too often refs just call a jump ball when a guy leaps onto a person without any semblance of going for the ball, or rather, they go for the ball but land on the guy hard, physically. Should be a foul every time IMO
 

JakeRae

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You can argue that Smart went down very easily there despite the push. I'd then argue that Poole and GP2 each go down quite easily as well and it doesn't seem to hurt their whistle.
I think one of the biggest issues in how people view “flopping” is conflating at least three distinct, albeit overlapping, categories of behavior: (1) anticipating and moving with unavoidable contact (mostly a taking charge thing); (2) letting yourself get pushed/shoved instead of standing firm/resisting; and (3) taking a dive in the absence of contact or not logically connected to contact.

In my view the second category isn’t flopping, it’s just smart basketball that draws attention to illegal contact by the other team and is probably most of what Smart did on that Klay pushoff. The first category I also think is generally fine and desirable, not as a form of drawing calls but as a way to reduce severity of contact and injuries when players draw charges, which is a part of the game. There are probably occasional instances where the first category blends with the third, but I think it’s generally a lot closer to the second (resting more on your heels or even slightly leaning back into the fall ahead of contact). The third category is a problem, but is hard to isolate from the first two.

That said, people complain way way too much about flopping because it’s usually category 1/2 conduct, which there is nothing wrong with. There’s no rule that a player has to try to avoid the impact of a player on the other team shoving them. They can, and should, be entitled to either fight through and defend the action or let themselves get shoved down and try to draw a foul. And, as we all know well from the Bucks series, refs don’t necessarily call fouls unless you decide to let them impact you instead of playing through it, so if the league wants less category 2 behavior, they need to do a much better job calling contact when players do fight through it. Pretty much the only exception is offense at the rim, where this seems to be reversed and fighting through contact is more likely to lead to a call then letting yourself get pushed out of position.
 

Just a bit outside

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This is the one type of play that I actually appreciate the refs calling a foul on JB. I think they called Draymond earlier in the series for a similar foul. Too often refs just call a jump ball when a guy leaps onto a person without any semblance of going for the ball, or rather, they go for the ball but land on the guy hard, physically. Should be a foul every time IMO
The problem with this is they don’t call the traveling as the guy rolls around on the floor. I wonder if you could just roll down the court and they would never call it traveling. It is tough to defend a guy who basically has no pivot foot. This is not just about this play. They let guys roll around on the floor all the time and the defender eventually jumps at/on them going down the ball because the guy on the ground can do whatever he wants to keep the ball away.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The league should be ashamed about those technicals—and putting Brothers in position to be around then.

I have no idea who would have won a fairly officiated game last night, and I can’t believe anyone who knows the game believes we saw one.

lots of errors for both teams to focus on… and some the league needs to as well. The product can be good, and last night they let a ref who is some combination of incompetent and biased get in the way of that.

I hope Celts say so publicly today—-at the ownership level
 

128

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The league should be ashamed about those technicals—and putting Brothers in position to be around then.

I have no idea who would have won a fairly officiated game last night, and I can’t believe anyone who knows the game believes we saw one.

lots of errors for both teams to focus on… and some the league needs to as well. The product can be good, and last night they let a ref who is some combination of incompetent and biased get in the way of that.

I hope Celts say so publicly today—-at the ownership level
There was a lot for the NBA to be ashamed in Game 5, from an officiating perspective, not the least of which was the Jaylen free throw on which two players tumbled into the lane well before he released his shot. It missed, and there was no whistle. I'm not sure which player was at fault, the Celtic or the Warrior, but there absolutely needed to be a call one way or the other, because what happened was not legal, and you don't "play advantage" in basketball.
 

Jimbodandy

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This is the one type of play that I actually appreciate the refs calling a foul on JB. I think they called Draymond earlier in the series for a similar foul. Too often refs just call a jump ball when a guy leaps onto a person without any semblance of going for the ball, or rather, they go for the ball but land on the guy hard, physically. Should be a foul every time IMO
Yeah if they always call that, sure. Same with the almost double tech when Dray sat his feet on Jaylen's head and the latter threw them off. Glad to not see that play called as double techs in the future because it's lazy reffing and unnecessary. But when every other fucking time they call it one way, the finals is a weird time to change approach.
 

BaseballJones

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There was a lot for the NBA to be ashamed in Game 5, from an officiating perspective, not the least of which was the Jaylen free throw on which two players tumbled into the lane well before he released his shot. It missed, and there was no whistle. I'm not sure which player was at fault, the Celtic or the Warrior, but there absolutely needed to be a call one way or the other, because what happened was not legal, and you don't "play advantage" in basketball.
The "in the lane" rule in the NBA is just disgusting on every level. Virtually every free throw guys step into the lane too soon. They virtually never call it. I'm like, look....either it's a rule or it's not. If you're never going to call it, just take it out of the stupid rule book. Unlike traveling or block/charge, which sometimes is pretty hard to adjudicate, stepping into the lane early is pretty cut and dried. Just frigging CALL IT. Guys will stop doing it if you actually call it. Or don't call it and take it out of the rule book.

It's really...not...that...hard.