Warriors

NBA rumors: Rockets say refs cost them 93 points in 2018 West Finals

Warriors

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Tuesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On May 28, 2018, the Warriors defeated the Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.

On Sunday, Golden State beat Houston in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals in a game that was marred by officiating calls -- or non-calls.

"I just want a fair chance, man," Rockets star James Harden said after a game where he thought he got an unfriendly whistle.

After the controversial finish, we learned that the Rockets are still fuming about what happened 11 months ago, courtesy of Sam Amick of the Athletic.

"The Rockets have been making a data-driven case with the NBA for quite some time that these Super Team Warriors are getting a major officiating advantage in these heavy-hitter matchups," Amick reported while citing sources Sunday evening after the game.

Amick went to report that in of last year's Western Conference Finals, the Rockets claimed the Warriors had the benefit of 93 extra points throughout the series.

The full details:

When that series ended nearly a year ago, the Rockets’ research had just begun. They secured the play-by-play officiating reports from each game from the NBA. And after the Rockets went through every line, tallying all the missed calls for each team and adding up the potential points that were lost along the way, it wasn’t pretty: The Rockets, according to the sources, had a double-digit point deficit in six of the seven games (and a small edge in Game 2).

In all, sources say, they were harmed to the tune of 93 points. Game 7 was the worst, the research showed, with the league-issued report indicating they should have had 18 more points. More specifically, two of the 27 consecutive missed 3-pointers that did them in were ruled to have been missed foul calls.

The point totals were deduced by the Rockets after their own research based on data by given the league.

Let's start by asking: Why are we just now learning about this? The Rockets almost assuredly have been sitting on this information for many months. Were they waiting for a specific time to relay these details to the media?

 

Secondly, there's a big difference between "potential points" and "points." We can't just assume that the Rockets would have made every single free throw they feel they should have attempted. How many "potential free throws" would have been shot by Clint Capela (who shot 40 percent from the charity stripe in the series)?

Additionally, Harden makes life extremely difficult on the officials. He frequently initiates contact and/or repeatedly flops.

It must be exhausting for the referees to deal with this and determine when to blow the whistle. In the moment, they don't have the benefit of slow-motion instant replay. They don't want to call a foul on a 3-pointer and realize upon review they were duped.

Is it silly to be litigating what happened in last year's playoffs? Yes.

Did Klay Thompson get away with several fouls in Sunday's Game 1? Yes. Might the result have been different if those fouls were called? Yes.

[RELATEDJazz's Gobert complains about Dubs-Rockets Game 1 refs]

Did the Warriors also have some calls go against them? Yes. Did Draymond Green foul Harden with about nine seconds remaining? No.

Should we stop talking about this now? Yes.

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