The Warriors lost their first road game since Dec. 19 Wednesday in Portland, falling to the Trail Blazers 129-107 in a contest that was engrossing as any the Dubs have played this season.
Here were my three big takeaways from a contest that will not be remembered for everything other than that high-level play:
A justified blow up
(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
The Warriors didn’t lose Wednesday night’s game to the Blazers because of the referees.
Well, not just because of the referees.
No, given the understandable effects of playing five games in eight days, two games in 24 hours, and with a short, 10-man bench for the final game before the All-Star break, the Warriors’ legs looked zapped in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s contest. Honestly, it was hard to see a circumstance where they were going to get over the finish line as winners.
But an eight-point — no, that’s not a typo — possession for the Blazers with less than four minutes to play in a seven-point contest didn’t help matters.
The Blazers’ incredibly productive trip down the floor was a result of what was quite possibly the best meltdown of Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr’s career, as he reacted to a ludicrous flagrant foul call assessed to Draymond Green.
Given the circumstances, Kerr could have played it cool. He could have avoided adding more free throws to the Blazers’ already fruitful possession and kept his team in the game. The unemotional amongst us could blame his outburst for the Warriors’ loss.
But from my viewpoint, Kerr was 100 percent justified in going ballistic on the referees: Ron Garretson, Ken Mauer, and Derek Richardson.
The flagrant call on Green was the worst call on a night full of bad ones.
Don’t construe any of this as bellyaching — the supremely talented Warriors surely don’t deserve anyone’s sympathy and they of all teams shouldn’t expect a fair draw on the road.
And I know referees do a thankless job — they’re the IRS of the NBA — too.
But Green’s hard foul was not flagrant. I’m in no way an advocate for the old-school “no blood, no foul” way of playing the game, and I understand that there’s a level of subjectivity to such a call, but objectively, Green nearly got all ball — if he wanted to maim Collins, he did a terrible job.
No, deeming that foul — as deliberate as it was — flagrant was a reputation call, through and through, and while no one can argue that Green has a sparkling reputation, you simply can’t make a reputation call at that point in what was a sterling basketball game.
And you certainly can’t make that call when the story of the game was one-sided officiating.
Earlier in the contest, Kerr rightfully blew up following a sequence where Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard had near-identical shooting fouls, but only the latter went to the line for free throws.
Yes, the NBA aimed to not reward guys jumping into leaping defenders this year, but watch a game the Houston Rockets play and …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News