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Inappropriate for NBA refs to bait players into technical fouls


Inappropriate for NBA refs to bait players into technical fouls

In light of the admitted bad calls by NBA referees -- consecutive blown ones in the last 30 seconds of the Wizards' last game and John Wall creeping into the league leaders in technical fouls -- it's worth taking a look at what happened this week with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Carlisle complained that official David Jones baited his point guard, Deron Williams, into getting a technical foul. How? See the evidence here

Jones apologized but there's always a frustration among players, and Wall is near the top of that list, with not only calls not going their way (which is to be expected) but also because of matters such as this.

Last season, in a game vs. the Orlando Magic, Wall took issue with a call by an official and could be seen having what appeared to be a level-headed discussion. Enter Joey Crawford, who wasn't involved in the discussion. Crawford injected himself and as Wall walked away to join his team during the timeout, he felt that he was negatively being referred to as "Number 2." He snapped back at Crawford and was hit with a technical during that dead ball.

RELATED: Report: adidas offered $7.5 million, Wall declined then fired agent

Wall admitted then he deserved the technical for what he said in retaliation -- each costs $2,000 for the first five issued and then $3,000 each for the next five and $4,000 for the next five during a season. The 16th technical is a $5,000 fine plus a one-game suspension. 

But does the situation rise to that level without Crawford's intervention? 

The frustration with the lack of respect from officials could be playing tricks on Wall as he settled for jumpers late in Tuesday's loss at the Portland Trail Blazers rather than attacking the basket.

Wall now has eight technicals (tied with Isaiah Thomas for 8th most) this season but shouldn't be in danger of getting a suspension with less than 20 games left in the regular season. His seventh one came on a crucial play vs. the Golden State Warriors fourth personal foul in the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors.

It was a game-changer as Wall had to go to the bench, but he was irate for being assessed a charging foul when Stephen Curry -- in his mind -- should've been hit with his fourth for a blocking foul.

The call erased a layup in what became a 41-point effort, but Wall's frustration is starting to add up.

The league office has the authority to rescind technical fouls, but what happened with Williams and Jones isn't unique nor is what took place between Wall and Crawford a season ago. Officials are people too and get heated and involved in the banter with players, though as authority figures they're required to be a step above the fray. 

Participating in it, and going out of one's way to agitate a situation, is bad form.

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards refuse to give up on season

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5


Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes, Travis Thomas and Julie Donaldson reset the series and looked ahead to Game 5.

They were joined by TSN Sports anchor Kayla Grey to find out the Toronto perspective. The Wizards have all the momentum in this series, now they just have to keep it going.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

You would not have known it by John Wall's towering poster-dunks over Jonas Valanciunas and Jakob Poeltl in Game 4, or his fourth quarter takeover after Bradley Beal fouled out, but Wall is still technically working his way into midseason form from the left knee surgery that kept him out more than two months down the stretch of the regular season. Add into the equation that he sprained his right ankle in Game 3, then resprained it in Game 4 right after Beal went out, and it's quite clear that what he is doing is simply not normal. 

Throughout Wall's recovery, his head coach Scott Brooks remarked how Wall can regain his form unusually quick following an injury absence. Game 4 was just his eighth game back, yet through four playoff games he is averaging an absurd 26.8 points, 13.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.0 blocks.

If that's what he's doing eight games removed from recovery, and against the top team in the Eastern Conference, what does peak playoff form look like? 

"I told y'all, I told all the media that I only need like three or four games. I really didn't need too many games," he said. "All the hard work that I did in those two months was to prepare myself to be ready for the playoffs."

Wall said he started feeling like himself in his final regular season game, his fourth outing following the injury rehab. It was against the Celtics and he scored 29 points to go along with 12 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

"I just started to see shots fall down that I was falling short with a couple games before that," Wall said of that night.

Brooks saw a change in Wall against the Cavaliers on April 5, in just his third game back. That game Wall put up 28 points, 14 assists, four rebounds and three steals. Most importantly, he logged 38 minutes.

"I knew I was going to challenge his body with extra minutes," Brooks said. "The way he responded to that, I knew he was back."

Whenever the turning point happened, there is no looking back. Wall has found his groove to not only impact, but at times dominate playoff games against one of the best defensive teams in basketball.

In Game 4 once Beal went down, Wall looked like the best player on the court. He scored eight of the Wizards' final 14 points to seal the victory and did so on a bum ankle. He outshined both DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, two All-Star guards.

Wall even played sound defense on DeRozan in big moments. DeRozan shot 10-for-29 in the game.

"I think I did a good job of contesting him," Wall said. "Just do whatever it takes to help this team win."

What Brooks predicted would happen has indeed played out. He has been with Wall for about two years now and knows what the star point guard is made of.

"I've been with him two years, he loves to play," Brooks said, noting there have been some tough conversations to convince him to come out of games.

Consider this: Wall has scored 20 points or more in six straight games, his longest streak of the 2017-18 season. He has actually reached 23 points or more in those six games, which is tied for the longest such streak of his entire career.

Through eight games overall and four games in the playoffs, Wall has reminded everyone of what the Wizards missed. Yes, they went 10-3 when he first went down with the injury in late January, but that was not sustainable.

They need Wall to reach their full potential as a team and especially in the postseason. Late-game situations like in Game 4, when Beal exited and it was tied with 4:58 to play, are when the superstars separate themselves.

Wall did that and now the Wizards are in good shape with the series at 2-2 and having won two straight.

"Blame everything on him," Brooks joked of the Wizards' up-and-down regular season. "If he wasn't hurt, we'd be better, right?"

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