Very early in the season, Doc Rivers saw this coming.
The Clippers head coach saw a pattern emerging just four games in, where his players were getting a reputation for being too demonstrative with the officials.
Friday night in Denver, his worst fears came to fruition.
L.A. was whistled for a ridiculous seven technical fouls in total, and after suffering a three-point loss, Rivers and his players unloaded on the officials.
Rivers emphatically voiced his displeasure to the officials before he left the court. He was hardly the only one irritated.
“It’s crazy,” said Paul, who finished with 17 points, 15 assists and one technical foul in the second quarter for complaining. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Never. As someone who has been in this league for awhile, you’re supposed to be able to react, then calm down.” …
“My exact words were, ‘Come on, he hit me in the head,'” Jordan said, “and I got a technical foul.”
Rivers then groused about the technical and received one of his own before Clippers reserve Hedo Turkoglu picked up a third technical from the bench.
“Turk got a tech for saying, ‘That’s not a foul,'” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said. “I mean, this is just getting out of control, man. They’re just whistle-happy.”
Three of the technicals came on one fourth quarter sequence, after Kenneth Faried flagrantly fouled DeAndre Jordan by hitting him in the head under the basket.
The quotes weren’t excessively inflammatory to the point where the league should see fit to fine guys for criticizing the officiating, and if what the players are saying is accurate, the league may instead want to have a discussion with the referees involved to see why they were handing out so many technical fouls for what seem to be fairly innocuous comments.
But either way, Rivers has a problem on his hands where the officials are concerned — one he saw coming just four games into this season.