If we’re looking ourselves in the mirror and being completely honest with ourselves, we can readily admit that the officiating was pretty bad in Wednesday night’s Jazz/Sixers game.
Both teams got dicked on various occasions, like the time when Donovan Mitchell threw his body sideways into Seth Curry for a cheap foul call. Mitchell also got whistled for a chicken wing/hook that probably was not a foul, and then was tossed after picking up a second technical, one of which was influenced by Joel Embiid.
If you need a refresher, here’s how that specific sequence played out:
Joel Embiid successfully lobbies a crucial technical foul on Donovan Mitchell pic.twitter.com/7z4U38q6du
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 4, 2021
As a result of this, and other perceived slights, Mitchell and Rudy Gobert said post game that they aren’t a team of complainers, then proceeded to complain about the reffing:
"We won this game in my personal opinion. … It's getting f—ing ridiculous."
Donovan Mitchell after getting ejected vs. the 76ers: pic.twitter.com/sSTquZuu2n
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 4, 2021
Thoughts? I think both teams had some bad calls go against them. Utah seems to be more specifically upset about what was NOT called, however.
And then there was the weird play that was reviewed, when Royce O’Neale looked to have saved a ball that was falling out of bounds. When the refs explained it to the pool reporter after the game, they said that the ball actually hit an official, and that’s why possession was given back to the Sixers. It was a crucial play at the end of regulation that reversed what might have been a Sixer turnover.
Here’s what Gobert had to say:
Rudy Gobert's full comments after the game on the way the Jazz are officiated: pic.twitter.com/SRToSdu3TR
— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 4, 2021
“We’re not able to get some calls that everybody else in the fucking league gets.”
Admittedly, none of us in Philadelphia have watched enough Jazz basketball to speak with authority on this subject. Maybe they do get dicked on the reg. I’ll point out that Utah shoots a ton of threes, so obviously foul calls are going to be scarce when you spend less time in and around the basket, and away from bodies. That’s one observation we can make from afar.
And of course we know that superstars get calls. This is true of any sport out there. Michael Jordan and LeBron James get the benefit of the doubt. Joel Embiid now does. Gobert and Mitchell and Mike Conley are great players, but they’re Tier 1B or 1C players, so we’re not bestowing upon them the same status as a guy like Kevin Durant or Steph Curry when it comes to the concept of name recognition and influence.
If anything, it’s kind of a bummer that a fantastic basketball game had so many controversial sequences in the final 5-10 minutes of on-court play. Both teams were operating at a high level, hitting shots, making smart reads, rotating, switching, and doing all of that. With the techs and the replay and whistles, it kind of junked up the game a little bit and took some of the shine off incredible performances from guys on both teams.