Photo Credit: ABC
The NBA has a problem. Whether or not you agree with the rule, landing in players shooting space is a foul… a FLAGRANT foul if you go under them… thanks Zaza.
The Rockets vs Warriors series has been terribly officiated for eight games in the playoffs over the past two years. If you are going to enforce a foul all year, you have to be consistent in the playoffs. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry both should have fouled out of Sunday’s game against the Rockets. I can’t remember seeing so many missed calls since… last year’s Game 7 between these teams. If the NBA isn’t going to call the foul they need to get rid of the rule. Harden is going to get hurt.
Not only is the non-calls the issue, but because of that along with tempers flying the referees are taking away from one of the great matchups the NBA has ever seen. This isn’t a matchup between two evenly matched teams, it’s better its a matchup of matchups. The Warriors are clearly more talented, but the Rockets were built for one purpose: beat Golden State. The whole design of the roster is to play against this Warriors team making them far better against Golden State than they are against say Portland or OKC. Other writers (Braden) has talked about this a lot so I won’t go into it more, other than to say the Referees need to get out of the way.
Someone even made a full tape of the refs in Game 7 last year. Houston just released a research piece saying the referees missed 81 calls. They also missed calls the other way, but they were awful harsh to Houston, and many unbiased fans would tell you so. James Harden can be hard to referee and many people may not like the way he plays, but he draws fouls and by the rules, you have to call him.
Call the obvious fouls and keep the game cool. Follow the rule book and don’t be in your head about is James Harden tricking me, or is Draymond about to get heated. Call what you see. Reputations are starting to affect the way the referees call a game and I get it. They are humans and they have dealt with players all year, then seen replays of these players getting away with things, but in the biggest series of the year, they have to do better.