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Doc Rivers, Celtics teed off about technical fouls

May 29, 2012, 1:37 AM EDT

Celtics Heat Basketball AP

Let’s just get this out of the way up front — Boston did not lose this game because they got five technical fouls. Their problems in this series are much larger than that and it only amounted to three Heat points anyway.

But still — five technicals. It was enough to get referees names (Ed Malloy and Danny Crawford) trending on twitter.

Doc Rivers, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo each got one, plus there was one for defensive three seconds and one for delay of game when Kevin Garnett tapped the ball after a made basket.

Were they legit? Doc Rivers says no (from A. Sherrod Blakely at

“I know mine wasn’t. I can tell you that much. I don’t know how long I’ve been in the league, but that has to rank as the worst I’ve ever had. I would have loved to earn it.”

That will be a $25,000 fine for Rivers, no doubt. The league does not take kindly to you saying the referees blew it. But video of the call showed Rivers only saying “Come on, Eddie” to Malloy. It wasn’t technical worthy from what we saw (we don’t know what happened prior to that moment).

Allen had a bad call go against him then had the technical because of his reaction (one that was not playoff tech worthy). The delay of game came after a previous warning, but Garnett tapped the ball after it came through the net gently. It was technically a violation, but worse has gone unpunished.

In a rough game for them Boston came off as the frustrated team, and that focus was easily placed on the calls and not the team’s poor shooting from the outside or the host of other things that cost the Celtics the game.

Still, the Celtics should be frustrated. It was a little tight for an emotional playoff game. You got to let the guys play.

  1. p1nch3dloaf - May 29, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    “Let’s just get this out of the way up front — Boston did not lose this game because they got five technical fouls.”

    …it certainly killed any momentum Boston tried to build.

    • edweird0 - May 29, 2012 at 3:03 AM

      Hahahahaha. Yeah, THAT’S what killed their momentum, it certainly wasn’t their horrid offense.

      • phaden27 - May 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        ^ Derp. Hard to build flow and momentum when you’re getting stopped every time up and down the floor.

      • gmen4life33 - May 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        I guess you haven’t played any organized basketball? It is extremely hard to keep your cool and execute when you (rightfully) feel like the refs are against you. You have to start thinking about stuff on the court instead of just reacting, and if you get frustrated on-top of that, you start to make bad decisions.

        Should the Celts have been mentally tougher and overcame the refs? Yea, but it is a unfair challenge that was put in front of them.

      • gmsingh - May 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        Their offense looked pretty damn good when they scored 35 points in the second quarter. More technicals were to follow, of course, to kill their momentum in the second half and hand the Heat the victory.

    • j0esixpack - May 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      I agree – and despite the Celtic’s awful 1st and 3rd quarters (their fault, not the officials) the game was still closer than the final score indicated.

      Even if all Celtics and Heat fans agree that Miami probably would have won anyway – that’s not the point.

      Fans have very limited faith in NBA officials as it is – from the Tim Donaghy scandal to just some very suspicious bad calls.

      If David Stern is trying to restore confidence in NBA officiating he must have done a major “face palm” with those technical calls.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Anyone notice that the bad tech calls were immediately followed by make-up calls on the other end? This is a non-story. But how many times can people say “Lebron and Wade are great” without it geting boring. So the bad techs are the story, and Lebron’s laughing at KGs trash talk is the story.

      The Celtics can look two places to figure out why they lost. First, they can look at the team they’re playing. Second, they can look in the deep,dark, truthful mirror.

      But, that being said, the Celtics are a championship team with 4 hall of famers who have a great history against the Heat and Lebron. They are clearly the better team, and will most likely win the series. Heat just have to try their darndest and hope to keep the games close. (reverse jinx alert…reverse jinx alert)

      • drewzducks - May 29, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        Got to give it to you for consistency.

    • gmsingh - May 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      …it certainly killed any momentum Boston tried to build.

      And that was the intended result. I wonder how much extra cash Danny Crawford put in his pocket.

  2. zblott - May 29, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    As has been obvious since Miami’s first game in the playoffs against the Knicks, the league/officials want the Heat to advance. Even when it’s clear they’re more talented than the opposition, refs makes sure opponents cannot gain meaningful momentum. I guess this has been par for the David Stern playoffs for over a decade now.

    • florida727 - May 29, 2012 at 7:27 AM

      In Chicago we call it the “Javie Rule”. During the Bulls run of 6 championships in 8 years, every game, let me emphasize it again, EVERY game that Steve Javie refereed, the Bulls won. As fans, we applauded the announcing of the officials names when one of them was Javie. Could you have imagined the TV ratings if the Finals had the Pacers v. the Spurs?

      • gmen4life33 - May 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        I applaud a Bulls fan for admitting that, as a Knicks fan I KNEW Steve ie was going to give the Bulls/MJ the whistle when needed. It was a fact.

        It would be so simple for the NBA to fix this problem:

        -Have an indepedent source go every game and rank the officiaiting. How many blown calls did each ref have?
        -Give refs grades for their performance, and those grades determine if refs stays in the league and how much they work.

        If refs’ performance actually determined if they kept their jobs (like the rest of us) and not if “David Stern liked their performance, wink wink”, all NBA fans would have faith in officiating. Even if a ref blew a game, you would know he would have to answer for it and his job status would be hurt.

      • zblott - May 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        From Wikipedia:
        In April 2003, Javie was the referee in Michael Jordan’s final game of his fifteen year NBA career. During a game break towards the end of regulation, Javie congratulated Jordan on his career and told him he was a “class act”. Javie then turned around and told the younger players on the court, “You could do a lot worse than modeling yourselves after this guy.”

        Kind funny when considering what florida727 just said and how clear it is in 2012 that MJ is really not a class act.

      • blueintown - May 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        …but the ‘Javie Rule’ was completely counterbalanced by the “Hue Hollins Rule’.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Game 1 against the Knicks was decided by the refs? I thought it was decided by 40 points.

      • southbeachtalent - May 29, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        This is downright comical, everyone making excuses… Aren’t we the whiny bunch? So LeBron shuts everyone up again on the court and now the haters are pointing at the refs? WEAK.. Recognize that the Heat are a pretty good team. Also recognize that they will be competing for championships for years to come. Let that soak in. Deal with it..

        Back to this NBA conspiracy. So because Javie supposedly favored the Bulls, the Heat have a plethora of refs in their pocket? That explains it. So, I guess we win it all? Any of you conspiracy theorist know? Who’s our ref? Who’s in our pocket?

        I didn’t know we hurt the Knicks fan hood as bad as we did?? Did you guys think for a milli-second that your team had a chance? Really?

        Get over it, you guys have sucked for decades.

  3. kavika6 - May 29, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Ray Allen’s T was ridiculous. I’m not a Celtics fan and I haven’t been a Ray Allen fan since he went to Boston, but I’ve seen twenty or thirty more “T-worthy” plays every game in the playoffs. Wade for example does enough to get himself ejected from almost every game.

    • soflasfinest - May 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Ejected from almost every single game? Realllllly? You’re reaching so hard it’s hilarious. Funniest part is you have over 100 thumbs up from these idiots on here. Hi haters :)

    • lmoneyfresh - May 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      This always kills me. Wade constantly barks at the refs for calls or rolls around on the floor trying to get a whistle. But he rarely gets techs. Lebron is always in the refs ear too. Everytime they take it to the hoop and don’t get a foul they are on the officials. Pretty sure that was a big point of emphasis for the refs this and last year, but they get a pass.

  4. letsgonuclear - May 29, 2012 at 4:30 AM

    I’d like to see the NBA rule that delineates “playoff worthy” techs from the regular season variety.

  5. broomehandle - May 29, 2012 at 7:01 AM

    Why doesn’t Jeff Van Gundy ever get fined? He was ripping the refs last night about all those technical fouls haha

    • zblott - May 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      Because JVG is one of the few guys associated with the league who actually tells the truth from time to time. We need far more announcers who will point out when something’s wrong (he’s the guy who started all this anti-flopping talk) and far less guys like Hubie Brown who will automatically say the refs made a great call as we’re watching the replay that shows the opposite to be true.

  6. jumpingpolarbear - May 29, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Those calls were horrible. If Stern wants a leauge without emotions, I will not be watching anymore!

    • florida727 - May 29, 2012 at 7:33 AM

      What Stern wants is LeBron in the Finals. At this point, he doesn’t even care who it’s against. Even if the fans view LeBum as the “villian” and are rooting against him, all Stern knows is that people will watch. TV rating rule the league. To think otherwise is delusional. There is not, nor has there ever been, any consistency to the officiating in the NBA. It’s the fine art of a subtle call here, a technical there, that controls the game. It fuels the momentum of one team, or kills the run of another team. College ball is so much better to watch. Too bad it doesn’t extend into June.

  7. iowahbr - May 29, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    My guess is that most of the techs last nite were not really deserved but the Celtics didn’t get the message which was “shut your pea-holes and just play b-ball.”

  8. therealtrenches - May 29, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    The Heat are the better team…and ir”s not even close. To think otherwise is delusional.

    • b7p19 - May 29, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      Thats correct. There is no way to argue that the Celtics are as good as Miami.

      • gmen4life33 - May 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        yea, but BOS deserves a fair shot. Thats what you guys dont get. Would MIA have won anyway last night? Yea. But was the officiaiting obviously pro-MIA? Yea.

        MIA is clearly the better team, but they are being given a handicap ontop of that.

        BOS SA/OKC would be worse rating Finals since DET took part. MIA SA/OKC would break recrods. That is what this is about,

      • gmsingh - May 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        Agreed–because we’ll never see them in a fair match up.

    • j0esixpack - May 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      As a Celtics fan, I agree – though stranger things have happened in terms of less talented teams winning a series.

      That doesn’t mean we should accept horrific calls by officials though.

  9. toegoat - May 29, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    So even tho all u experts KNOW the game is fixed, why do u even watch? Just to complain/cry? Somebody get these Bron bashers a tissue for their tears.

    • slowclyde86 - May 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      Hey, Genius, please point out anywhere in the article or anywhere above your post who was bashing “Bron”. Everyone has stated the obvious (1) the Heat are the vastly superior team and (2) the officiating was ridiculous. Pull your head out of “Bron”‘s backside—the view is better.

  10. skids003 - May 29, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Kurt, what is the difference in tech worthy and playoff tech worthy? That’s the problem with the NBA, you so called “experts” are more interested in something like the WWE than basketball.

    • lucky5934 - May 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      Hey Skids,

      He is referring to a ref letting things play out a little more often in the playoffs. As opposed to a ref deciding the outcome of a game. It is a very common occurrence with lazy refs.

      • skids003 - May 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        I know what he means. However, the “experts” are more interested in ratings than calls. Lazy refs don’t have the balls to call something when it happens, regardless of who or when it is.

  11. rodge1 - May 29, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Don’t discredit the Celtic fans’ complaints. It’s the only excuse they’ll be able to hold on to when the series is over. You’re right Celtic fans, the Heat were lucky to win. Had nothing to do with the Heat defense or your aging Celtic team’s lack-of-energy.

    • southbeachtalent - May 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      That will be what they will cling too. Were the fouls rediculous? Hell yes, did they lose because of them? Hell No! They lost by 14. I’ll give you back the 3 we made of the Technicals, and even spot another 10 for the potential “run” the refs killed. Heat still win.

      **NEWSFLASH** the Heat also get bad calls, and Wade and LeBron get mugged most of the time. Let’s be real..

      Bottom line, there is no answer for LeBron. Wade was great and the bench stepped up. They got out-rebounded, and out-hustled. That’s why the Celtics lost. That’s reality. Doc even admitted that they lost all of the 50/50 plays.

      There will always be some sort of “hate” when the Heat win, it’s part of the deal.

      That being said, this series is far from over, the Celtics are a veteran team and Doc will adjust.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        (we’re playing this perfectly……shhhhhh)

        YES!! That’s right. The Celtics are great, they deserve our respect, and they will absolutely be ready to come back in Game 2 and reassert their dominance.

  12. lakerluver - May 29, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    The C’s looked terrible. Pierce and Allen looked old and tired.

  13. lucky5934 - May 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Old legs on two days rest is no match for young legs on a several days rest.

  14. senorpapino - May 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    I saw a stat this morning that the Heat have been called for 6 techs this playoffs and their opponents have been called for 23. That plus the huge foul disparity each game makes it hard for anyone to gain/keep momentum against them.

    • diabloryno - May 29, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      The fouls last night were Heat – 21, Celtics – 19. So I guess I’m having a hard time seeing your point.

      • gmen4life33 - May 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        Same thing against the Knicks, when the game 1/2 were out of hands, the refs started calling fouls on MIA. But when the games were close, Lebron was getting every call, flopping included. Same thing last night. I dont even know why I am arguing, MIA fans will see what they want. Just know that unbias fans and every non gullable fan knows whats happening.

      • gmen4life33 - May 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        And I will admit myself that even if the MIA/NYK series was officated by robots, MIA would have won. They were much better. But thats not the point. The point is:

        -MIA in Finals will bring in the largets ratings.
        -David Stern knows this, and wants it
        -Refs are human, and know what Stern wants
        -Refs know Stern is the ONLY person who decides which refs job status/security

        It is human nature for refs to be pro MIA.

        Lets say you were a bouncer, and knew the club made the most $ when more girls were inside, and you knew your boss knew this. And your boss determined if you keep your job. Would you have to be told directly “let in more girls than guys”. No, you would naturally let in more girls.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 29, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        Wouldn’t the Knicks being successful be the biggest boon for the NBA?

  15. ceschatz - May 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    So now that the heat are playing at the top of their game, its all the with the refs help? Hahahaha, you people are pathetic.

  16. ceschatz - May 29, 2012 at 9:29 AM


    All that does is show that nobody has an answer to stop the Heat offense. Would you not get frustrated also if you were getting torched and losing your chance at a championship? If you honestly think these technicals actually changed the outcome of these games, then you obviously dont know basketball.

    • senorpapino - May 29, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      The Heat offense has been playing very well and Lebron and Wade appear to have finally figured out how to play together in an offensive scheme that is more than just iso ball. But, I see plenty of times when the those two complain and try to upstage the refs especially when they don’t get a call and they rarely get techs. Especially when Miami is playing at home.

    • philiplewis1 - May 29, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      What offense??? The whole Eastern Conference is offensively challenged. Reach 90 points and you’ve had a major outburst. I’m not a Spur fan but if they meet Miami, watch Poppovich throttle the Miami attempt at offense. Pretty much the same as Dallas did last year.

  17. borderline1988 - May 29, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    The Heat are the better team. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just not subjective.

    The Celtics simply cannot guard James and Wade. They are constantly double-teaming them, and Miami had a horrible 3pt shooting night (i think 5/25?).

    What happens if the Heat’s 3 pt shooters wake up and actually hit their shots….Miller, Battier, Jones, CHalmers all shoot at around 40%…the Heat will literally blow out the Celtics…..

  18. 700levelvet - May 29, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    When the HC gets a T for saying…..”C’mon Eddie”, protesting a call, it kinda makes ya wonder if the refs are influenced by what the NBA gods want…ratings wise. and if you don’t think that’s possible, then you’re either a homer or making minimum wage…..Fact is these are The Heat’s Finals, they will win the ECF,and thats’s all the NBA wants…..They want them to either be the villian to everyone who thinks LEBRAWWWNNNNNNNN ( thanks Stephen A. Asshole) can’t win, or the Savior, to all the jock sniffers…. either way, no way the Heat don’t win this series…….Too much Damn money involved…….

  19. rayburns - May 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    First off, the Heat were a better team last night and deserved the win. The technicals had absolutely nothing to do with the final outcome.

    That being said, technical fouls, more than regular personal fouls, have a direct impact on how one plays the game. If you get T’d up, you can’t risk getting another because you will be ejected. You could be playing with no personal fouls, but say two wrong things to an over-sensitive referee and you’re watching the game from the locker room.

    I think that the officials were trying to establish that they’re not going to be taking any yapping or complaining (something that the Celtics are masters of) and called it pretty close to the vest. However, both James and Wade are also masters of yapping … if they also get T’d up for the same things, then the officials have established something. If in the next game Wade gets called for a ticky-tack foul and gets in the face of the official and the official does nothing, then we have an issue.

  20. packers84075 - May 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Does it even matter? The real NBA finals are being played right now, over in the Western Conference, the winner of that series will blow out either of the two teams from the East, so again, does it even matter???

  21. kinggw - May 29, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Some of the technicals called last night were bogus, but C’s fans should have no complaints. If anything the techs helped them last night. The techs slowed the game down when it started to get away from them and fired up the C’s.Those fouls provided the impetus the Celtics needed to climb back into the game.

    In the 2nd half there were no egregious calls from the referees. It was a tie game and the better team came out and took control of the game. In fact, the Heat were called for more fouls than the Celtics. Say what you want about the validity of those techs (3 out 5 were ok in my book, the Doc and Ray techs were a bit much) they didnt affect the outcome of the game.

  22. tombradyspoop - May 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Celtics fan here, and we lost this game cause of a pathetic offense and not being able to hit free throws. Not because of the technicals…even though they were BS. I agree with the above poster though the championship is going to be won by whoever wins the West. They are incredible out there!

  23. bobulated - May 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    There is something wonderfully ironic about Celtic fans complaining about biased officiating.

  24. toegoat - May 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Thanks for thinking of me so highly (genius). Funny u say nobody was bashing Bron because I could’ve sworn I read multiple comments about him flopping and how the only reason the Heat are winning is because Stern wants Bron in the finals. Here have a tissue crybaby. And my original point was that since you all know the game is “fixed” n the heat r. gonna win, why watch it?

  25. toegoat - May 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    By the way slowclyde when I said experts I didn’t mean Kurt Helin lol, It was meant for all the comments claiming assinine conspiracy theories.

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