Frank Vogel will be writing a check to the league in the next 48 hours.
Vogel spoke for a Lakers’ team frustrated by the calls Jimmy Butler got in the final two minutes of the Heat’s Game 5 win Sunday. One was on Markieff Morris, and the one foul Butler drew on Anthony Davis led to the free throws that put the Heat up for good with 16.8 seconds left.
“I felt two bad calls at the end put Butler to the line, you know, and that’s unfortunate in a game of this magnitude,” Vogel said. “Anthony Davis has a perfect verticality, should be a play on. And the time before that, Markieff Morris has his hands on the ball, that should be a play on. They were given four free throws and made it an uphill battle for us. Very disappointed in that aspect of the game, but our group’s fine. We’re going to bounce back strong.”
That will draw Vogel a fine for criticizing the referees. He knew it when he said it, but this is a game every coach since Phil Jackson has played in the Finals — criticize the officiating and take the fine in hopes of swaying the refs a little next game.
“A couple, you know, questionable calls that swayed their way and put Jimmy to the free-throw line,” LeBron James said more diplomatically. “Obviously, we can’t do that. He’s been damn near perfect at the free-throw line in the series.”
These were close calls Jimmy Butler got, but the replay showed Davis was not vertical but lept forward some, as was noted on the broadcast. In the NBA those calls usually go to the aggressive attacker on offense — LeBron gets a lot of those calls. In Game 5, Butler got them.
Which is why there will be a Game 6.