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

HomeRunBaker

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Might be an interesting discussion about why Baseball and football have dominated popularity over the last 100 years......while basketball and hockey which are are much more arbitrary in their enforcement of rules always plays second, third or fourth fiddle.
Basketball is actually the 3rd most popular sport worldwide based on “Number of fans” behind Soccer and Cricket. American Football is 9th just ahead of Baseball. Of course NFL is #1 in this country by a large margin.

When you leave this country as a basketball player you are treated as royalty. This has gone on for decades overseas and in Canada.
 

Ivo Rentoren

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If I'm Ime, I start Game 3 with Grant Williams pummeling the fuck out of Draymond up and down the court for the first 5 minutes of the game. I don't even care if he picks up 3-4 fouls. Just send that dickhead a message that it's going to be a LONG night for him.
Instead of pummeling Green, why not pummel Curry instead? Green is largely irrelevant. Send the whole Warriors team a message that one of their players acting like a douche will have consequences for the entire team, including the players that matter. Green (and his teammates) may not care if Green gets in trouble, let's see if Green (and/or his teammates) cares if Curry gets manhandled.
 

tbb345

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Foul:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BhvxHzi3jY



Not a foul:

View attachment 52257

This is not about it being "hard" to referee basketball, this is not about Draymond being "good" at what he does. This is complete, utter and total bullshit that everyone who watches the NBA saw coming 10 minutes after the Celtics won the first game. Period. That's it. Consistency on both ends of the floor. That's it. That's all anyone wants.
This is the issue. Going into the game, I knew the Celtics would have to be very good to win the game.

After literally the first possession (where Draymond completely got into Horford and fouled him but got a jump ball call) it was apparent that they would have to be incredible to have a chance at winning…and the officiating somehow got worse from there in the 1st half.

I’m not a huge hockey fan (I watch the playoffs) but that’s the only other sport I can think of where you can figure out a team is basically fucked because of officiating immediately.
 
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reggiecleveland

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I understand what you’re saying, but with the legal gambling aspect added, I don’t think we can use past experiences. Honestly I think it will take one court challenge to blow it all up. Really surprised this hasn’t happened yet
Wait what?
Blow up what?
Who is going to sue? A casino? A bettor?
Wich past experiences?
 

nighthob

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Tatum does get calls. He tends to avoid contact which may make him last longer than Larry Bird, and other who sought contact. But often he is going away from the hoop and does not get the call. At least once a game gets to the line on weak, going away from the hoop off 1 foot Eurostep that must infuriate any non Celtic fan. Tatum also whines all game. He whines an embarrassing amount. He whines , doesn't run back on D while the ball is in play. You will see non-stars get techs if the whine while the ball is in play. Tatum gets special treatment.
And Luka makes him look like a piker. It’s unfair to say that Luka whines from opening tipoff till the final buzzer, because he starts whining at the refs five minutes before game time. And still complains every post game press conference that he didn’t get enough calls. He’s a lot like the Golden State Warriors that way. Only much much worse.
 

ElUno20

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And Luka makes him look like a piker. It’s unfair to say that Luka whines from opening tipoff till the final buzzer, because he starts whining at the refs five minutes before game time. And still complains every post game press conference that he didn’t get enough calls. He’s a lot like the Golden State Warriors that way. Only much much worse.
Very true on Luka. However, Tatum is a top 5 whiner/cryer in the league. The playoffs solidified that. He spends so much time pouting and complaining it's makes him extremely unwatchable to non-celtics fans. I personally hate watching him play basketball.
 

The Mort Report

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Wait what?
Blow up what?
Who is going to sue? A casino? A bettor?
Wich past experiences?
Sorry I was a few too many deep when I responded. I meant that now that gambling is legal, past interactions might not carry as much weight when gambling wasn't legal. I would think a bettor could sue if it is proven that a game was fixed. Tim Donaghy got jail time when it wasn't legal, and now the league has a rooting interest in the sports books making money. I could easily see some back channel conversations about it
 

TripleOT

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Tatum does not get the kind of calls a player of his stature usually get, and he responds by whining. Maybe now that he’s a first team all NBA, he might start getting more superstar calls in the next few seasons.

Draymond did to start game two what Ron Artest did in the opener of the 2010 Finals (when he clobbered Pierce) make a very physical play to make a point. The refs actually rewarded Green, at least twice, by calling fouls on the players being accosted. The referring for much of this game was blatantly one sided. Hopefully the refs will equally favor the home team in Game 3.
 

tbb345

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Maybe I’m crazy, but i watch a lot of NBA, and I really don’t think Tatum is an “elite” whiner.

He’s in a weird place where his referee reputation hasn’t caught up to his All NBA status. Next year he will get more calls and he will be used as a beacon for not whining but really he just gets more calls (like KD)
 

reggiecleveland

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He isn't at all in weird place. He has been all NBA for one year. For half of this year he certainly wasn't all NBA. If he was as good as you guys say he was for as long as he was this would not be the first trip to the finals. He really hasn't been one of the top players for several years. He has been one of the best young guys, and now since his team starting winning he got personal awards. He is a really bad whiner in that he takes defensive possessions off when he doesn't get the call. It isn't good, and i will not put on my green colored glasses and excuse the inexcusable.
 

Mooch

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He isn't at all in weird place. He has been all NBA for one year. For half of this year he certainly wasn't all NBA. If he was as good as you guys say he was for as long as he was this would not be the first trip to the finals.
Steve Nash was a 7 time all NBA guy with two MVPs. Never made the Finals.
 

reggiecleveland

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Steve Nash was a 7 time all NBA guy with two MVPs. Never made the Finals.
Wow Tatum is 100 time better than Nash ever was! It's that simple. And Nash got all the calls long before he was all NBA. Why didn't the Suns play this giuy who got all the calls?
Sorry to commit a mortal sin and state Tatum has just reached the top tier not been there all the time.
 

lexrageorge

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The problem that the NBA has is that perception that the refs do what they can to extend a playoff series. If that perception is indeed reality, that is so fucking wrong on so many fronts.

I can forgive unconscious bias; MLB umpires have been found to do the same with the strike zone where they are less likely to call a marginal ball a third strike than a first or second strike. I can forgive being influenced by the losing coach sending tape with a WTF memo to the league office. I understand the game is probably the most difficult to officiate, and that with star players there is a lot of judgment going into what is an offensive vs. defensive foul vs no whistle.

But the calls in Game 2 were horrific. There was no reason to stop a Celtics fast break opportunity to call a foul. And it is essentially known that the NBA refs threw one game of the WCF the Lakers way so the league didn't have to worry about a talented Sacramento team winning in 6 games, and that the league short-circuited the FBI's investigation into Donaghy. I shouldn't need to justify what all that is wrong; there is literally zero excuse for the league giving their officials directives to "extend" the series in favor of their "inner circle" teams.
 

lars10

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Very true on Luka. However, Tatum is a top 5 whiner/cryer in the league. The playoffs solidified that. He spends so much time pouting and complaining it's makes him extremely unwatchable to non-celtics fans. I personally hate watching him play basketball.
This just isn't anywhere close to true.

edit: on the part that he's a top 5 whiner.. give me a break. The fact you hate watching him play.. ok.

https://www.ranker.com/list/biggest-crybabies-in-basketball/ranker-nba

This has him at 32 which seems about right
 
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HomeRunBaker

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The problem that the NBA has is that perception that the refs do what they can to extend a playoff series. If that perception is indeed reality, that is so fucking wrong on so many fronts.

I can forgive unconscious bias; MLB umpires have been found to do the same with the strike zone where they are less likely to call a marginal ball a third strike than a first or second strike. I can forgive being influenced by the losing coach sending tape with a WTF memo to the league office. I understand the game is probably the most difficult to officiate, and that with star players there is a lot of judgment going into what is an offensive vs. defensive foul vs no whistle.

But the calls in Game 2 were horrific. There was no reason to stop a Celtics fast break opportunity to call a foul. And it is essentially known that the NBA refs threw one game of the WCF the Lakers way so the league didn't have to worry about a talented Sacramento team winning in 6 games, and that the league short-circuited the FBI's investigation into Donaghy. I shouldn't need to justify what all that is wrong; there is literally zero excuse for the league giving their officials directives to "extend" the series in favor of their "inner circle" teams.
I wouldn’t say that the league gives officials directives. I’m confident that no conversation has ever taken place. The officials however know how much is at stake financially with each game and there is nothing better for a ref than to get in the leagues good graces. From what my eyes have seen over the years it seems as though certain things don’t need to be said.
 

Mooch

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Wow Tatum is 100 time better than Nash ever was! It's that simple. And Nash got all the calls long before he was all NBA. Why didn't the Suns play this giuy who got all the calls?
Sorry to commit a mortal sin and state Tatum has just reached the top tier not been there all the time.
Rant all you want, I'm just pointing out the flawed logic that "not reaching the finals" or heaven forbid, winning a championship is somehow a mark against a guy who has played at an All NBA level (remember, there are three teams.) Tatum is clearly there, despite your somewhat justified disdain for his complaints about officiating. It's long been an issue for him in years past but I've noticed that in these playoffs, he's mostly doing it after he's at or near the basket and well behind the other team's runouts, and for a brief moment.

He's young and working on it. I'd still rather have Tatum than almost anyone in the league. And he still has another level jump in him, especially once he gets the superstar call treatment from the refs, which is coming.
 

lars10

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Rant all you want, I'm just pointing out the flawed logic that "not reaching the finals" or heaven forbid, winning a championship is somehow a mark against a guy who has played at an All NBA level (remember, there are three teams.) Tatum is clearly there, despite your somewhat justified disdain for his complaints about officiating. It's long been an issue for him in years past but I've noticed that in these playoffs, he's mostly doing it after he's at or near the basket and well behind the other team's runouts, and for a brief moment.

He's young and working on it. I'd still rather have Tatum than almost anyone in the league. And he still has another level jump in him, especially once he gets the superstar call treatment from the refs, which is coming.
Tatum’s per 36 numbers for FTA are actually pretty good… not sure how much he’ll jump. Embiid and Giannis get about double anyone else.
 

Mooch

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Tatum’s per 36 numbers for FTA are actually pretty good… not sure how much he’ll jump. Embiid and Giannis get about double anyone else.
Compared to his superstar peers age-wise, they're not that great.

2021-2022 Season:

Tatum: 6.2
Ja Morant: 7.9
Luka: 7.7
Tre Young: 7.5
 

Captaincoop

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He isn't at all in weird place. He has been all NBA for one year. For half of this year he certainly wasn't all NBA. If he was as good as you guys say he was for as long as he was this would not be the first trip to the finals. He really hasn't been one of the top players for several years. He has been one of the best young guys, and now since his team starting winning he got personal awards. He is a really bad whiner in that he takes defensive possessions off when he doesn't get the call. It isn't good, and i will not put on my green colored glasses and excuse the inexcusable.
I'm not following the argument about "Tatum hasn't been All-NBA long enough to get calls" or whatever, but the last part of this post is exactly right and something he needs to get past. We've seen LeBron fall into the same trap in the past, I'm not sure how much he improved on it over the years, either. But there have been numerous times this postseason a team has scored a bucket on the other end because Tatum or one of the other young Celtics have stopped playing to stand there and complain about a call.

The issues with the NBA's officiating are not going to change this week. What needs to change is how the Celtics respond to bad whistles and physical play.
 

benhogan

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I wouldn’t say that the league gives officials directives. I’m confident that no conversation has ever taken place. The officials however know how much is at stake financially with each game and there is nothing better for a ref than to get in the leagues good graces. From what my eyes have seen over the years it seems as though certain things don’t need to be said.
100% this... basically follow the money

also credit to the Warriors since they play a style/have the shooting to not be as impacted by a biased whistle
 

lars10

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I'm not following the argument about "Tatum hasn't been All-NBA long enough to get calls" or whatever, but the last part of this post is exactly right and something he needs to get past. We've seen LeBron fall into the same trap in the past, I'm not sure how much he improved on it over the years, either. But there have been numerous times this postseason a team has scored a bucket on the other end because Tatum or one of the other young Celtics have stopped playing to stand there and complain about a call.

The issues with the NBA's officiating are not going to change this week. What needs to change is how the Celtics respond to bad whistles and physical play.
How!? How do you react to bad whistles that don’t allow for physical play? How do you react to not getting calls? The only way to win against a GS team in that scenario is to play absolutely perfectly I guess?
 

reggiecleveland

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Rant all you want, I'm just pointing out the flawed logic that "not reaching the finals" or heaven forbid, winning a championship is somehow a mark against a guy who has played at an All NBA level (remember, there are three teams.) Tatum is clearly there, despite your somewhat justified disdain for his complaints about officiating. It's long been an issue for him in years past but I've noticed that in these playoffs, he's mostly doing it after he's at or near the basket and well behind the other team's runouts, and for a brief moment.

He's young and working on it. I'd still rather have Tatum than almost anyone in the league. And he still has another level jump in him, especially once he gets the superstar call treatment from the refs, which is coming.
That isn't even remotely close to what I wrote.
People on the board have been calling Tatum top 5 for 2.5 years. He has only just got there. If he or even Romeo (remember if we just gave him minutes we'd win) were as good as people said the team would never lose.

You completely missed the point. The bias of most fans is that their guy is better than he really is, and deserves more calls than he gets.

I contend he has just began to demonstrate elite abilities and dies get calls, but both his play and the calls are inconsistent, and that seems fair.

And his whining hurts the team.
 

lars10

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That isn't even remotely close to what I wrote.
People on the board have been calling Tatum top 5 for 2.5 years. He has only just got there. If he or even Romeo (remember if we just gave him minutes we'd win) were as good as people said the team would never lose.

You completely missed the point. The bias of most fans is that their guy is better than he really is, and deserves more calls than he gets.

I contend he has just began to demonstrate elite abilities and dies get calls, but both his play and the calls are inconsistent, and that seems fair.

And his whining hurts the team.
All Mooch was saying was that a lot of really good players never get to the finals.. you were using that as a metric for saying how good Tatum is… he used Nash as an example of a really good player who never went to the finals.. he’s using your own metric.

edit. I agree that Tatum is just starting to border on elite.. I don’t think getting to the finals is necessarily part of that status (Even though it helps)
 

BaseballJones

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If we are serious in arguing that the league has any influence over how the games are reffed in terms of the league wanting certain outcomes…. That cuts both ways. It can’t only be true when the other team wins, right? This argument would mean that the Pats’ and Sox’ and Celtics’ titles (should Boston win this series) are tainted by their leagues wanting them to win. Or are we saying that OUR teams were just SO good that they overcame all that?

I ask because over at ChiefsPlanet, they’re convinced that the previous SB was “rigged”, not realizing that it also had to mean that KC’s Super Bowl title was also “rigged”. But no, they’d argue that their team won the “fair” games and Tampa or NE won the “rigged” games.

I don’t want to see any parallels between us and them, ya know?
 

Jimbodandy

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That isn't even remotely close to what I wrote.
People on the board have been calling Tatum top 5 for 2.5 years. He has only just got there. If he or even Romeo (remember if we just gave him minutes we'd win) were as good as people said the team would never lose.

You completely missed the point. The bias of most fans is that their guy is better than he really is, and deserves more calls than he gets.

I contend he has just began to demonstrate elite abilities and dies get calls, but both his play and the calls are inconsistent, and that seems fair.

And his whining hurts the team.
I agree with all of this, although I think that we're overstating the sweaty fandom of this place. Most people here IIRC thought that Tatum was pushing the top 10 boundary for a couple of years now but not quite there, and had in fact fallen closer to 15 or worse in the first half of this year. Nobody should expect #15 to get the star treatment.

Tatum is top 5 now and has been for a few months now. The star treatment hasn't come yet. If he stays here, he should get more calls. He also needs to learn how to milk them better. It clearly doesn't come naturally for him, so hopefully an offseason of Stanislovsky classes should help.


All Mooch was saying was that a lot of really good players never get to the finals.. you were using that as a metric for saying how good Tatum is… he used Nash as an example of a really good player who never went to the finals.. he’s using your own metric.

edit. I agree that Tatum is just starting to border on elite.. I don’t think getting to the finals is necessarily part of that status (Even though it helps)
Don't disagree with any of this either. Ironically, for Nash's 2 MVPs, his peak DARKO was about where Tatum's is right now (this is Tatum's apex to date). It took Nash about 750 games to get to this 5+ DARKO level. Tatum has done it in fewer than 500. He's probably not done peaking yet.
 

benhogan

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That isn't even remotely close to what I wrote.
People on the board have been calling Tatum top 5 for 2.5 years. He has only just got there. If he or even Romeo (remember if we just gave him minutes we'd win) were as good as people said the team would never lose.

You completely missed the point. The bias of most fans is that their guy is better than he really is, and deserves more calls than he gets.

I contend he has just began to demonstrate elite abilities and dies get calls, but both his play and the calls are inconsistent, and that seems fair.

And his whining hurts the team.
It's not really necessary to misrepresent the Board to make a point. Literally, nobody has been saying Tatum Top5 over the last 2.5yrs.

Agree that he whines too much but lots of superstars do it unfortunately (Bron)

I agree with all of this, although I think that we're overstating the sweaty fandom of this place. Most people here IIRC thought that Tatum was pushing the top 10 boundary for a couple of years now but not quite there, and had in fact fallen closer to 15 or worse in the first half of this year. Nobody should expect #15 to get the star treatment.

Tatum is top 5 now and has been for a few months now. The star treatment hasn't come yet. If he stays here, he should get more calls. He also needs to learn how to milk them better. It clearly doesn't come naturally for him, so hopefully an offseason of Stanislovsky classes should help.




Don't disagree with any of this either. Ironically, for Nash's 2 MVPs, his peak DARKO was about where Tatum's is right now (this is Tatum's apex to date). It took Nash about 750 games to get to this 5+ DARKO level. Tatum has done it in fewer than 500. He's probably not done peaking yet.
yea, this sounds more accurate. I was very bullish on Tatum to start the year that had him in the TOP10 but Top 5 was more of a next season thing. Top3 by next year playoffs was the most bullish stance.

He just needs to add more size/strength and shoot better from 3 to draw more fouls. Which seems likely.

a Top3 of Giannis, Tatum, Luka by the playoffs next year seems fair
 
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reggiecleveland

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All Mooch was saying was that a lot of really good players never get to the finals.. you were using that as a metric for saying how good Tatum is… he used Nash as an example of a really good player who never went to the finals.. he’s using your own metric.

edit. I agree that Tatum is just starting to border on elite.. I don’t think getting to the finals is necessarily part of that status (Even though it helps)
JfC I never used that as a metric.
I said if he was as good as people said they would have won more. Good lord
I give up
 

lars10

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He isn't at all in weird place. He has been all NBA for one year. For half of this year he certainly wasn't all NBA. If he was as good as you guys say he was for as long as he was this would not be the first trip to the finals. He really hasn't been one of the top players for several years. He has been one of the best young guys, and now since his team starting winning he got personal awards. He is a really bad whiner in that he takes defensive possessions off when he doesn't get the call. It isn't good, and i will not put on my green colored glasses and excuse the inexcusable.
 

lars10

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"as you guys say"
Right.. but I think his point after that was that some really good top five players never made it to the finals.. Nash being one of them. I admittedly was confused by your post after that.. Point being that it's a strange standard is all. If he were a top five player he would have brought his team to the finals before now? I mean.. he's been to the ECF three of his five years in the league and has lost to one team with LeBron and one team with Butler.

Anyway.. I'm not really disagreeing with your overall point.. just trying to understand what you're saying.
 

Reverend

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The sheer fact that so much of this was predicted in here should really give pause.
 

djbayko

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That it would be a physical game where Draymond fouls out and they win by double digits while taking 9 more free throws? :)
What I'm afraid of is Draymond fouling out tonight affording the refs the opportunity to reset things and allow him to wreak havoc next game if they so desire.
 

nattysez

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I wouldn’t say that the league gives officials directives. I’m confident that no conversation has ever taken place. The officials however know how much is at stake financially with each game and there is nothing better for a ref than to get in the leagues good graces. From what my eyes have seen over the years it seems as though certain things don’t need to be said.
Tim Donaghy has said more than once that the way he made money betting was to place bets after the refs consulted with the league office before each game, because the league office would share points of emphasis in terms of things to watch out for and he would know which team was likely to benefit from that guidance. Here's a clip from Pardon My Take. You can choose to ignore him -- I have no idea how reliable a source he is -- but what he says does not sound unreasonable.

As someone who follows both teams, I thought the Celts got 1 or 2 favorable whistles early (I can't remember the specific calls off the top of my head), but the rest of the game was called evenly. The fouls on Curry and Draymond were all legit.

What I'm afraid of is Draymond fouling out tonight affording the refs the opportunity to reset things and allow him to wreak havoc next game if they so desire.
I think he's likely to put them to the test the way he did in Game 2 -- "I don't think you have the balls to foul me out in the first half, so I'm going to go crazy until you force me to dial it down."
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Tim Donaghy has said more than once that the way he made money betting was to place bets after the refs consulted with the league office before each game, because the league office would share points of emphasis in terms of things to watch out for and he would know which team was likely to benefit from that guidance. Here's a clip from Pardon My Take. You can choose to ignore him -- I have no idea how reliable a source he is -- but what he says does not sound unreasonable.

As someone who follows both teams, I thought the Celts got 1 or 2 favorable whistles early (I can't remember the specific calls off the top of my head), but the rest of the game was called evenly. The fouls on Curry and Draymond were all legit.



I think he's likely to put them to the test the way he did in Game 2 -- "I don't think you have the balls to foul me out in the first half, so I'm going to go crazy until you force me to dial it down."
And I don’t see that working too well in the Garden.
 

nattysez

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And I don’t see that working too well in the Garden.
Agreed. BTW, the Garden seems like the last NBA venue that does the "bullshit" chant rather than "ref you suck." It makes me so happy when they have to mute the crowd mics a bit because of the chanting.
 

lexrageorge

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And I don’t see that working too well in the Garden.
It will be interesting to see how this all pans out in Game 4.

Kerr's WTF memo to the league will be a lot more strongly worded than Ime's, given the result. And the refs may very well have a bias against letting a team go up 3-1 if there's a close call.

At the same time, allowing a team to go down 3-1 in a series when they have 2 home games remaining is not the same as seeing a team go down 2-0 before going on the road for the first time. The league is still happy if the Warriors win the desperation game in SF while the Celtics clinch it at home in 6. But I'm getting way ahead of things, so back to Game 4....

I expect that there will be a tighter whistle on the Celtics, but we will not see a repeat of the egregiously bad calls from Game 2. Draymond will not foul out unless he gets overzealous (which is possible, as the refs will not cover for an overzealous Green as much as they did in Game 2).
 

BigSoxFan

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I don't get it.. I'm not even being the slightest bit hostile towards you.. I'm asking honest questions about what you're trying to say? Why all of the one or two word responses as if I'm attacking you?
Your responses have been fine and haven’t been in any way hostile. I’m equally confused after catching up on this thread.
 

djbayko

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Tim Donaghy has said more than once that the way he made money betting was to place bets after the refs consulted with the league office before each game, because the league office would share points of emphasis in terms of things to watch out for and he would know which team was likely to benefit from that guidance. Here's a clip from Pardon My Take. You can choose to ignore him -- I have no idea how reliable a source he is -- but what he says does not sound unreasonable.
Yeah, Donaghy says this because it helps distract from the fact that he was actually affecting games he called. The stats say otherwise. He lost money on games he bet on which were not reffed by him. He and his accomplices only won on games he could impact directly.
 

scottyno

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SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
9,840
That isn't even remotely close to what I wrote.
People on the board have been calling Tatum top 5 for 2.5 years. He has only just got there. If he or even Romeo (remember if we just gave him minutes we'd win) were as good as people said the team would never lose.
Who are these "people" that have been calling him top 5 for 2.5 years? Pretty sure it was like 1 person saying that, and everyone said he had a chance to get there, but wasn't there yet. There was a debate where most people didn't even think he was top 10 yet I believe this past offseason.