There were questionable calls in Game 2 between the Rockets and Warriors Tuesday night. Ones both ways. That included a double-technical for Draymond Green and Nene for… well, not much really.
However, after a Game 1 that seemed focused on missed calls, selling calls, and the attempt to manipulate the referees — and the aftermath of that with days of discussion on the topic — there was very little mentioning of the officials in Game 2.
“I didn’t even notice the officiating. I don’t think anybody did,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “I think that’s the best compliment you can give them. They did a great job. This game was just about basketball.”
That was by design.
“I think both teams just realized what the hell was going on last two days. You can’t really turn a blind eye to anything. Today’s day and age with social media and all these things… Everyone was aware of all the talks about officiating, foul calls,” Draymond Green said.
“Come out and play the game. I think both teams did a great job of that. They weren’t complaining about many calls, we weren’t complaining about many calls. It’s kind of embarrassing for the game of basketball, how much it’s been talked about, fouls and officiating. What about beating your man? What about stopping your man? Nobody talked anything about schemes the last couple days. All about foul calls.
“I think both teams were locked in on coming out and playing the game to the best of their ability. You have to give credit, both clubs did that.”
The NBA league office did its part, rescinding the double technical on Green and Nene.
It was a welcome relief to have the talk be about the game.
Will that continue as the series moves to Houston — and the Rockets play with the desperation of a team down 0-2 and knowing it can’t lose Game 3? Or, if that game is tight and the crowd is into it, will officiating again become the focus? When things get intense, human nature has us looking for people to blame (other than ourselves).
Let’s hope it’s still about the game. I just wouldn’t bet money on it.