Rockets end war with one archenemy, hope for dissolution with other

Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards
Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards / G Fiume/GettyImages

Over the years, the Houston Rockets have fallen victim to poor officiating in some of the most pressure-packed games. Case in point, Scott Foster, who seemingly has a vendetta against the team.

The Rockets are 4-12 in playoff games officiated by Foster- a mere 25 percent winning clip- and Foster officiated the Rockets' infamous Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals in 2018. Foster's disdain for the Rockets hasn't been on display in recent years because he hasn't been assigned to as many Rockets games throughout the Rockets' rebuild (1 game in 2021-22 and 2 games in 2022-23).

In many respects, this particular war has subsided. For now.

Another source of frustration for the Rockets, from an officiating standpoint, has officially ended for good. Referee Eric Lewis, a polarizing ref with a not-so-favorable Houston Rockets postseason record, has walked away from the sport, as announced by the NBA.

Rockets end war with one archenemy, hope for dissolution with other.

Lewis has had a rather lengthy career, as he started officiating in 2004 and has reffed over 1000 games in total. Lewis' retirement was due to a scandal involving social media, as the league had been investigating him for having a burner account and posting about officiating on the account.

The league decided to drop their investigation in lieu of his retirement. The Rockets have been on the losing end of the stick when Lewis has officiated their postseason games, as they've gone 2-4, winning just 33 percent of their games.

It's that bad. 

In short, Rockets fans have a legitimate ax to grind with the long-time official. In fact, the Rockets are tied for the third-worst postseason record when Lewis has drawn the assignment (among teams with at least five postseason games under him).

Under the same qualifier, the Rockets have had the fifth-worst free throw discrepancy in the postseason in games officiated by Lewis- drawing 2.5 fewer trips to the charity stripe than their opponent).

In addition, the Rockets have had the second-worst foul discrepancy under Lewis, as they've been called for roughly three more total fouls than their opponents on the brightest stage.

Granted, Lewis isn't the sole reason why the Rockets went 2-4 in those postseason games, but even he would admit that referees play a part in influencing the outcome of the game.

But at least he won't be an issue any longer. That war is over for good.

If only the war against Scott Foster will have a similar ending...