To say the officiating was a topic of discussion during Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals series between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets on Sunday would be an epic understatement.
The two teams were called for a combined 45 personal fouls and four technical fouls, and Chris Paul was ejected with 4.4 seconds left in the game.
That continued a trend this postseason of things getting testy between players, coaches and officials.
The Rockets are arguing that they should have gotten more foul calls based on the way the Warriors defenders were crowding their “landing area” when they came down from their shots.
Slo-mo videos show that yes, there were times when the Warriors did not give Rockets players, especially Harden and Paul, space to land.
"I just want a fair chance, man," Harden told reporters. "Just call the game the way it's supposed to be called and we'll live with the results."
The players on the court weren't the only ones complaining. Multiple players chimed in on Twitter with both specific and general observations.
My guys were not allowed to contest shots like that last week...or maybe i'm crazy and it's just camera angles. — Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) April 28, 2019
Damn you could've just give me the 25,000. — Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell)
Not surprisingly, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban chimed in.
The defender has every right to the space. Offensive players are smart enough to take advantage of this.
It's not on the refs. It's league stupidity.
2 minute report is going to be very interesting tomorrow. Will tell you so much about the management of the nba officiating group. — Mark Cuban (@mcuban)
As for how the Rockets and Warriors should deal with the officiating in Game 2 and the rest of the series, retired center Kendrick Perkins had one idea for what they should focus on going forward.
Everybody was so busy worried about getting fouls called, forgot about trying to win the game!!! — Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins)