Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said the refs told him they missed multiple fouls on 3-point shots, as Houston dropped Game 1 against the Warriors.
Last year’s playoffs series between the Rockets and Warriors was full of what-ifs, and it looks like this season’s series between the two heavyweights could be more of the same.
The officiating in Game 1 on Sunday was inconsistent to say the least, as the referees appeared to miss multiple fouls on James Harden‘s 3-point shots over the course of the game.
Of course, fans are angry with the refs over the missed calls, and even the refs themselves are admitting their mistakes. According to Rockets’ coach Mike D’Antoni, the refs told him at halftime they missed calls on four closeouts in the first half.
After Game 1 loss to Warriors, Rockets' Mike D'Antoni weighs in on the officials not calling fouls on three-point shots: "They just came at halftime and said they missed them. They missed four of them. That's 12 foul shots." pic.twitter.com/IA6lqeuvcv
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 28, 2019
Not everyone will agree on every call, but there were three aggressive closeouts on Harden that were clearly fouls, as you can see in the video below. The NBA emphasizes allowing the shooter to have proper landing space, but Klay Thompson is jumping into Harden’s landing area. Not only are these fouls, but the refs have called flagrant fouls on similar plays throughout this season. In the video, former NBA referee and ESPN rules analyst Steve Javie agreed that all three plays should have been called fouls.
I don’t care what Warriors fans (3/4 are bandwagons) say, these are clearly fouls, as Steve Javie says. pic.twitter.com/CFCw42nF3g
— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) April 29, 2019
While the refs did blow multiple calls, the Rockets have to play better in Game 2. Houston shot just 14-47 from 3-point range. The Rockets missed their first eight 3-pointers of the game, and then they missed their first six 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter. Houston shot just 1-5 from 3-point range in the last six minutes game, blowing multiple opportunities to tie or take the lead.
Houston’s defense was solid. They did allow the Warriors to make 50.7 percent of their shots, but they forced Golden State into 20 turnovers, with 11 turnovers coming from Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Golden State also shot just 7-22 from 3-point range, as Houston did a good job of running Stephen Curry, Durant and Thompson off the line.
The Rockets can hang with the Warriors, as they have proven over and over again. But they have to rebound the ball and make more shots in Game 2. A fair shake from the refs wouldn’t hurt, either.