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Doc Rivers slams refs in press conference (video)

May 14, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

The entertaining end of Thunder-Clippers Game 5 continued right into Doc Rivers’ press conference. You can read his quotes on this call

…but seeing the Clippers coach in action brings his outrage to a different level.

I understand why Rivers is mad – he doesn’t like calls, right or wrong, that go against the Clippers. But why are non-Clipper fans so upset about this replay?

What is the point of replay, if not to achieve the right outcome?

Matt Barnes fouled Reggie Jackson, and Thunder kept ball. That’s pretty much right. Really, had everything been called correctly, Jackson probably should have been shooting free throws.

The referees should follow NBA rules to a T, but that doesn’t always happen due to human error. Replay is one method of oversight toward the goal of getting every call right – and, in the end, it worked.

The process breaking down multiple times along the way is an issue the NBA should address, because that will usually lead to mistakes. Last night, though, it led to the right result.

That’s no injustice.

  1. steelcitywhitty - May 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    If this play happens in the first 20 seconds of the game instead of the last 20 seconds, nobody would have a problem with the play. In fact, Doc would be happy to give OKC the ball out of bounds instead of having a foul called on his player.

    You cannot get the no call and the ball.

    On the other hand, Doc has everyone talking about this play and the refs instead of all the terrible plays Chris Paul made in the last minute of this game. Maybe Chris will pay the fine for this favor.

    • savvybynature - May 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      The first two minutes of the game are not as important or exciting as the last two minutes. Excellent insight there, Capt. Obvious

    • hubermeersmans - May 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      Absolutely right!!
      The last minute of the ballgame is a manual of how to loose a game with 7 points over your opponent. The last ref’ call is just an anecdote.

    • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      It shouldn’t matter if the play happened in the first 20 seconds or the last 20 seconds. The play should be ruled correctly based on the rules of officiating at ALL times. A non-foul is not a reviewable play, but an out of bounds is. This was an out of bounds call, not a foul call.

      You say you “cannot get the no call and the ball”..but precedent has been set. See the GSW v. Clipper game with CP and Green. Same type of play. Golden State got the ball and the no call. Now that the Clips were on the other end of that stick, they still get shafted. It’s not consistent. Please explain.

      Yes CP made big mistakes, huge mistakes, but if the Clippers were going to lose the lead, let them lose it on their own, they don’t need extra help from the refs.

      • fanofthegame79 - May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Bingo, k3nn3k. The precedent had been set in that GSW vs Clippers game. It’s not the ref’s place to correct a non-call by making a bad call.

      • steelcitywhitty - May 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        in my mind a no call is not the same as a non-foul. In a non foul/out of bounds possession is not given to the team that touched the ball last. In a no call, a foul has occurred but instead of calling a foul the refs award possession to the offense eve n if they touched it last.

        This was not an out of bounds in the sense of who touched it last because the ref opted for a no call to award possession to the offense.

        In the other game, Draymond reached across CP but did not hit his hands. Major difference.

      • ProBasketballPundit - May 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        The play was officiated correctly. There’s a clause in the rulebook that if a player hits the hand of his opponent causing him to lose the ball then the possession stays with the ball handler.

      • bougin89 - May 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        I totally agree with you but it’s hard to argue the outcome of this scenario wasn’t fair.

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        @probasketballpundit – that’s a good theory in hindsight, but it’s not why the referee awarded the call the way he did. Per the official calling the game Tony Brothers:

        “When the ball goes out of bounds, the ball was awarded to Oklahoma City. We go review the play. We saw two replays. The two replays we saw were from the overhead camera showing down, and the one from under the basket showing the same angle but from a different view. And from those two replays, it was inconclusive as to who the ball went out of bounds off of. When it’s inconclusive, we have to go with the call that was on the floor.”

        It definitely was not inconclusive, it went off of Jackson’s right hand.

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        @probasketballpundit – Also, If you go off the theory that the ball is part of the hand, and if Barnes hit Jackson’s hand then it should be out on Barnes…that might be more plausible, but still incorrect. Barnes hit Jackson’s left hand which loosened the ball, but then touched Jackson’s right hand before going out. Still out on Jackson.

    • steelerdynasty2010 - May 14, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      calling BS. they’re pro refs, GET THE CALLS CORRECT….PERIOD.. no make up/non-call/same result rationale (leave that to middle and high school refs)…pros? get the calls right. DURING THE WHOLE GAME. there’s no “unimportant” part of the game. the entirety of the game matters. some points are more critical than others, but ALL are important. and to excuse a poor call by explaining that it would be a non-issue at another point in the game, doesnt address the issue of a ref making the bad call…even with the benefit of replay.

  2. k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    I believe the appropriate phrase here is “2 wrongs don’t make a right”. The refs missed the foul on the call, but per guidelines that is not reviewable. You can’t right that wrong with another wrong call and hope it works out. Doc said it best when he brought up the same review in the GSW series…there was a foul on CP3, but because the refs didn’t call it they could only review the out of bounds play, and so it was out on CP. The league then wrote a formal letter stating it should have been a foul and it was missed. Same rules should apply here right? This time let the Thunder get the league letter, because we all know how much that is worth.

    • steelcitywhitty - May 14, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      I don’t think they missed the call. I think they applied a different rule.

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Which rule? The hand is part of the ball rule? That would have worked if the ball immediately went out after Barnes hit his hand, but it then proceeded to touch Reggie Jackson’s right hand before going out of bounds. Still Clipper ball at that point.

    • joeksnuffy - May 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Green didn’t foul Paul in GSW series. He got ball first. I don’t need the league to tell me whether it was right or wrong. I saw the play myself 50 times from 50 angles. Green’s fingertips touched the ball before shoulder contact. No foul.

      In this case, there was only one wrong – the missed foul call.

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Green didn’t foul Paul? The league admitted it was wrong and it should have been called a foul. The league doesn’t admit fault just for fun. I also saw the play myself 51 times from 51 different angles, does that make me more right since I saw it more times with more angles? lol.

        If you can’t see the parallel of this call with the Paul/Green call then there’s really nothing I can help you with.

  3. savvybynature - May 14, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    So screwing up an easy call and thereby giving OKC a playoff game they hadn’t earned was some great triumph of justice?
    Interesting, but moronic, take. Sounds like Feldman is angling for an eventual job at NBA.com.

  4. spursareold - May 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    The purpose of replay is to get the out of bounds call correct, NOT to fix referee errors. It’s actually pretty clearly stated in the rules that you can’t go back and call a foul, which is pretty much what they did by awarding the ball to OKC.

    • ProBasketballPundit - May 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      The play was officiated correctly. From the rulebook:

      If a player has his hand in contact with the ball and an opponent hits the hand causing the ball to go out-of-bounds, the team whose player had his hand on the ball will retain possession.

      • bougin89 - May 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Your right about the rule but it doesn’t apply here. The offensive player cannot make contact with the ball after that contact. The hand is part of the ball rule only applies if the ball goes directly out of bounds. Jackson hits the ball again with his right hand after that contact was made. It should have been Clippers ball…but really it should have been a foul and Jackson shooting two free throws.

      • dannymac17 - May 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        Thats like the 4th time ive seen you say it. We all saw the image on twitter. That has absolutely ZERO to do with this. Please stop repeating stuff that has nothing to do with the play that was called.

  5. rayburns - May 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    The problem is that by allowing the refs to deviate from the stated purpose of instant replay (who touched the ball last) and allow them to correct what was, admittedly, a missed foul call, you start opening a door that you don’t want opened.

    What happens if in another out of bounds situation, the ref notices that, in the background, Chris Paul is getting literally mugged by a Thunder player and the refs didn’t see it and missed the call. By the logic of what happened last night, the officials should ignore who the ball actually went off of and give the ball to the Clippers as a ‘make up’ for missing the foul.

    Like I said, it’s a slippery slope. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA announces that a) a foul should have been called on the play but that b) the officials misused instant replay and the Clippers should have been awarded the ball.

    • ProBasketballPundit - May 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      The play was officiated correctly. From the rulebook:

      If a player has his hand in contact with the ball and an opponent hits the hand causing the ball to go out-of-bounds, the team whose player had his hand on the ball will retain possession.

      • sluggoseam - May 14, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        This is a moot point. Besides the fact that this rule is NEVER invoked, the refs themselves never even mentioned this in how they ruled in their post game press talk..
        Their reasoning was that it was inconclusive and they didn’t have the angle that was playing directly over their heads on the jumbo-tron. Pathetic.

      • dannymac17 - May 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Dude quit beating the non existant dead horse. DOESNT APPLY. What dont you get about that?

  6. reesesteel23 - May 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Maybe next time they should come to Doc and ask him.

    “Coach It was a foul. You want us to call a foul and give Reggie 2 free throws or give them the ball out of bounds? Your choice.”

    • spursareold - May 14, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Except, according to the replay rules, you can’t do that.

      • reesesteel23 - May 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        If they had truly called the game right, Reggie would have shot 2 free throws and Clips would have still lost. End of story.

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        @reesesteel Yeah because Reggie Jackson has never choked on free throws this playoff season right?

        Also, if you change that, then that opens a ton of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve scenarios. So that really isn’t the end of your story.

      • spursareold - May 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        If Reggie makes both, it’s a tie, and Clippers get the ball back with 6.something seconds.

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Great point @spurs. If the foul was called on Barnes, then at best Reggie Jackson makes 2 free throws and it only ties the game. That’s a huge difference.

        Like Doc says, it’s a game defining and potentially a series defining moment, and the refs decided to make a “makeup call” on such an important play.

  7. savvybynature - May 14, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    If you want to argue that the refs saw Barnes foul Jackson so that’s why they decided to give the ball to OKC, then why not go all the way back to the beginning of the play and really get it right? Did Westbrook foul CP3 during the “steal” attempt? OK then, let’s just make up a ruling and say that Jackson knocked the ball out of bounds at about half court, where CP3 was fouled, Clips ball. I mean, that wouldn’t make sense or be allowed under the rules, but hey the refs were making up the make up call for the call earlier they missed after an erroneous make up call, so then it would be fair right?
    Or, alternatively, just do your dang job, watch the video, see that it went off Jackson, and award the ball to LAC, like you’re supposed to. Barnes barely touched him anyway, hitting mostly hand which is allowed while it’s still in contact with the ball.

  8. tv63 - May 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    He’s mad right now but has taken a different tune when REFS did rule in his favor when the same damn thing happened in the Golden State series.

  9. reesesteel23 - May 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    This happens in every single game. Almost always on the very next possession.

    Example: Bogus call on Tony Parker, crowd goes wild. Replay shows its obviousy not a foul by Tony Parker.

    Next possession: Tony Parker gets the foul call off a touch foul at the top of the key. Obviously a make-up call for the last possession. Unless you just started watching basketball, you notice these things every single game.

    • duhwighthoward - May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Who thumbed this down? This is a fact, like it or not.

  10. m4a188 - May 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Doc Rivers can do no wrong, ever since the Sterling situation he has become the NBA`s golden boy. No fines, no suspensions.

    • reesesteel23 - May 14, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      You haven’t even given them time to fine him yet lol

    • asimonetti88 - May 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      now we know why the Clippers whine so much, it comes from the top

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        So what’s the reason you whine so much?

    • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      He’ll get fined for sure.

      • fanofthegame79 - May 14, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        He will get fined. But in this case, if I were Doc, I wouldn’t care. Partially because I have the money to spare, but really because I know I’m right (if I were Doc…not me).

      • k3nn3k - May 14, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Agreed. He’ll probably also use it as a motivational tool. Like when coaches get ejected on purpose just to fire up his team.

  11. jzone954 - May 14, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Doc has a point to be angry, it’s totally should’ve been the clippers ball, and everybody who saw the game knew that. But the whole “making it right” because they missed the foul call prior is a bit much especially coming down the wire like that.

  12. doug2626 - May 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    This call was no where near the only terrible call in this game. The Charge where Durant was still moving. The BS foul on the 3-pointer. My roommate and I were watching the game and said to each other I don’t know why they don’t just call the game and give it to OKC if its gonna be that blatant. (We are both Miami fans and would rather play the Thunder in the final just btdubs.)

  13. tmatic74 - May 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    I say Barnes knocked the ball out if his hand and the refs got it right.

  14. ebecks34 - May 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Well Doc, karma is a b….

  15. chargerdillon - May 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    What I recall is the Clippers leading for the majority of the game until an absolute collapse in the fourth quarter.

    If Doc stops worrying about the refs and focuses on the EXECUTION of his players, they are never in the situation they put themselves in.

    Trying to blame the refs for the Clippers not playing any defense when it counts is the real issue at hand not the refs

  16. ebecks34 - May 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    That’s because this is his second playoff series ever. After winning game 1 in Chicago, pbt could’ve said that he had an 100% playoff winning percentage.

  17. sluggoseam - May 14, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Besides the obvious out-of bounds missed call and the explanation that they didn’t have the replays everyone else saw, despite it playing overhead inside the arena as they stood at the monitors.. What about the, as until this game, unseen interpretation of a clear path foul when there were not one but 2 Clipper players ahead of Jackson yet he shot 2 free throws and OKC kept possession..
    The Clippers did melt down but that is why you build a lead to give yourself a margin for error. This margin was taken away by the call they whiffed on.

  18. garybrian - May 14, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    And they said there was only one ref throwing games. He are you kidding. Refs in WWE could do a better job than these guys are doing in the playoffs this year. Got to be embarrassing to the league!

  19. hannsta - May 14, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Ive seen games lost because someone pushed a player out of bound, the refs decided to review, and the ball was awarded to the fouler. I like this result a lot better. Its making a right out of two wrongs but at least its a right in the end. Its the fault of the rules that these situations exist in the first place.

  20. antistratfordian - May 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Barnes didn’t foul Jackson after all – the hand being part of the ball, etc. I don’t think it was a foul.

    This whole thing would’ve been avoided if the refs were shown every available angle of the play. But they were only shown two angles and didn’t even see the most conclusive angle. It makes me wonder if whoever was controlling what was being shown to the refs was an Oklahoma City native.

    • savvybynature - May 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Bingo. Everyone saying, “Well, it was an obvious foul on Barnes anyway,” are wrong.
      Sure, it looked like a foul in real time because Jackson flopped his heart out, but when you watch it again it was actually a great play by Barnes. Sure, there was some contact on the hand, but that happens all the time without a whistle blowing and the hand is supposed to be part of the ball. He did not rake his arm or anything remotely resembling an obvious foul.
      Basically, the refs gave OKC the game at the end. There is no other way to see it imho.

  21. realdealsteel - May 14, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I saw Chris Paul do the best Tony Romo impression that I”ve ever seen!

  22. crazyfootballfun - May 14, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    OKC fan here…thought Clippers were robbed. Yes, the refs missed the foul, yes the Clippers played horrendous and Paul was atrocious with his turnovers. But, you don’t make up one bad call by making another bad call on purpose to make up for the first bad call.

    • savvybynature - May 14, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      Thank you for being honest! Totally respect that. I’m sure you’ll take the win without guilt, as I would, but at least you aren’t pretending that somehow some great justice was served when it clearly was not.

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