Officiating has been a huge conversation this season in the NBA. Players have complained about how referees have treated them all season long, and we have had a couple big incidents over the course of the season. However, the memory span is short in the NBA and during these NBA Finals we’ve only been somewhat reminded of the league’s officiating problems during the first two games.
Nevertheless the NBRA — the ref’s union — still feels as though they were coming under attack enough that they had to make a statement during these pivotal moments of the NBA postseason. Their response, presumably a response to cries of poor officiating, is an announcement that the NBRA will be live tweeting Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The NBRA says they will watch the game and respond with reactions to the game and presumably give explanations to whistles.
The announcement came via a tweet on the official account of the NBRA, which referenced NBA Twitter by name, a move that does seem a little bit reactionary to the conversation online being led by fans.
Of course there has been a concerted effort by the referees to help amend their image over the last part of the season. Even recently, a story on ESPN by Kevin Arnovitz went in-depth on how officials make their calls during the culmination of the season. It’s a good read if you haven’t checked it out, but the move to live tweet the game on social media is sort of an odd one if you ask me.
There’s pretty much no way this goes well for the NBRA. If the officials make a bunch of obviously bad calls and try to defend them on Twitter, the online community will roast them. If the game is uneventful, it will be hard to spice up and add appreciation of officials for fans watching the game.
I also think there is something to be said about hoping that some kind of informational campaign about the referees and the toughness of their job will help influence the middle of the bell curve when it comes to online fans. Some people just aren’t open to hearing that kind of rational talk, which sort of comes with the territory of both being a fan and when your emotions fly without restraints during a sporting event.
More explanation is good, and kudos to the NBRA for trying even if it is reputation management. It’s a big swing to live tweet a game and explain calls, however. Let’s hope it goes well for them.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.
James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points against all 29 opponents in a season.
But the NBA has had 30 teams for just 15 of its 73 seasons.
Obviously, the larger league makes Harden’s feat more impressive. He had to score 30 against more teams. The Rockets also play most opponents, those in the Eastern Conference, only twice. In previous eras, players had more cracks at scoring 30 against fewer teams.
Still, anyone to score 30 points against every opponent has a certain immunity to bad matchups. It’s special.
How many players have done it?
We must start with Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 30 points against all nine teams in the 1964-65 NBA. He began the season with the San Francisco Warriors and, with them, scored 30 against the 76ers. Then, he got traded to Philadelphia and scored 30 on the Warriors. He also dropped 30 on every other team.
Including that season, there have been 85 times a player scored 30 points in a game against every opponent in a season.
Only Harden, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird have done it since the NBA-ABA merger. Jordan (1986-87) and Bird (1984-85) did it against 22 teams.
Everyone else did it against 17 or fewer teams.
Here’s everyone to score 30 in a game against every opponent in a season with the player’s highest-scoring game against each team listed, starting with Chamberlain doing it against every team then following in chronological order: