Blog Entry

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

Posted on: June 8, 2010 8:57 pm
BOSTON – NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Stu Jackson dismissed complaints from both coaches about the officiating in the NBA Finals, saying Tuesday night that blown calls and missed calls in the first two games were “within the range” of what has been seen throughout the postseason.

“We felt pretty confident that both the first two games of the Finals were officiated very well,” Jackson told on the court before Game 3. “As expected, in the playoffs in general but certainly during the first few games of the Finals, the level of intensity and aggression is very, very high. You couple that with the fact that both of these teams have a great deal of movement in their offenses and the officials’ emphasis on allowing freedom of movement, and you’ve got a situation where when you put those factors together and you’ve got a lot of fouls called.”

The first two games resulted in 57 personal fouls called against the Celtics and 55 against the Lakers. Overall in the postseason, fouls called are up roughly one per game over last year’s playoffs, Jackson said. The difference has been in the free throws – 72 attempted by the Lakers in Games 1-2 compared to 62 by the Celtics. That’s an average of between six and seven per game more than last year’s Finals between the Lakers and Magic.

“That’s not controllable,” Jackson said of the preponderance free throws, which obviously depends on the timing of fouls and whether they are shooting or non-shooting fouls. Though Jackson refused to give a percentage grade for call accuracy through the first two games, he said the officials are aware of two areas of emphasis based on how these teams play.

“One is, both teams have a lot of movement by perimeter players,” Jackson said. “But also there’s a great deal of post play in this series. When you add up the sum total of Big Baby [Davis] , Rasheed [Wallace], [Kevin] Garnett, and [Kendrick] Perkins against [Lamar] Odom, Pau [Gasol] and [Andrew] Bynum, it’s a war in the paint in this series. And it needs to be called as such.”

Both coaches have complained about there being too many whistles – and the direction of the whistle – in the first two games. That’s just standard politicking in the NBA playoffs. But the pace of both games was slowed by the number of fouls called, and the way particular players have been officiated – such as all the Celtics’ big men getting into foul trouble and Kobe Bryant getting whistled for five fouls in Game 2 – has raised awareness about the refs’ performance. But Jackson said the league’s video review of the first two games showed nothing out of the ordinary.

“I’m just miffed and amazed how the other team complained about the fouls since we’ve been the team that’s been in foul trouble for two games,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before Game 2. “Maybe they do different math there or something. I don’t get that one.”

The best indication of how the officials have done might be the simple fact that both teams are complaining. When I mentioned that to Jackson, he smiled and said, “That’s not in our analytics.”

Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2010 1:37 pm

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

Stu Jackson is an idiot. Period. It's like a used car salesman trying to sell
you a defective car that he know is defective. No matter what you may think,
he's going to say the car is in excellent condition.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2010 8:51 am

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

LMAO- man what the hell is your problem? I KNEW someone would respond to this article WITHOUT even reading it! I read it yesterday thinking that this will prove something I have thought for a VERY long time. That people just come in here and post things without even reading it. I figured this would be the perfect article to prove the point being that both have the last name of Jackson.

There have been other articles stating that PHIL JACKSON critisized the officiating. Follow this up with your post and it is down right laughable.

Anyways, thanks for the laugh you moron!

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 11:47 pm

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

Hello Celts fan or Laker hater.  Calls bad both ways. Too many fouls disrupt the flow of a beautiful game. Both teams affected equally. Swallow the pill colby

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 5:31 pm

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating


Read the article before you post.  It is STU Jackson the article is referring to, and was the one interviewed by not Phil Jackson.

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2010 3:41 pm

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

Of course Phil would stick up for the officials!!!

Tight officiating always benefits the finese team, Guess which team is a finese team?

41 to 26 fouls in game 2 and 7 more fouls called against Boston in game 3 even though Boston was at Home!

I think its pretty obvious who Sterns wants to win the Championship!


Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 12:02 pm

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

refs are terrible.  what's a foul one play down the floor is no longer a foul the next.  most of the fouls they call are not even fouls.  they need to replace refs during the playoffs with ncaa refs. 

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2010 11:51 am

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

Boltnut, I agree with the tone of your post - the refs are are bad and call too many phantom fouls and miss a lot of real ones. The refs make too many calls based on what they think must have happened, not what really happened. Too many times, the ref with worst angle makes the call while the ref(s) with the best angle don't make any call. They added the 3rd ref several years ago to minimize that kind of problem, but in reality all it's done is added a 3rd whistle to "see" phantom infractions.

But I think you're wrong on some of the specifics you brought up. If a star commits a foul, he should be called for it even it puts him on the bench for an extended period. If the refs don't let the "star" get away with something the average player can't get away with then the game is better for it, and the "star" should be smart enough to stop doing it if he keeps getting called for it. The "Garnett call" in game 2 was called correctly. In basketball at all levels "the hand is part of the ball" (although the refs often ignore this fact, especially when the hand belongs to a superstar). Garnett's hand was on the ball when the Laker hit his hand and provided the impetus to knock the ball out of bounds. Therefore, it was the Laker who hit the "ball" out of bounds. The Rondo/Odom call in game 3 was also called correctly. Now, it's clear that Rondo hit Odom's arm and a foul could have been called if a ref had seen that live. But foul calls are not "reviewable". The only thing in that situation that can be reviewed is who hit the ball last and that was clearly Odom.

Since: Dec 26, 2008
Posted on: June 9, 2010 11:47 am

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

I love how Jackson tries to quantify everything.  57 vs 55.  Only 1 more per game vs last year's playoffs.  That has absolutely nothing to do with it.  One play a guy gets his head torn off - no call.  Next play a phantom foul with no defender in sight.  According to his silly math the refs are just fine calling one total foul.

Since: Feb 21, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2010 11:33 am

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

YOUR A DUMBA$$!!!! It's stupid people like you that keeps the NBA in buisness.You can't be serious about thinking the outcome of the games are decided by the players and not the Refs fixing games.Like I said"YOUR A DUMB A$$."
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Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2010 10:37 am

NBA's Jackson defends Finals officiating

Colby- yes in fact it would have killed Stern to say this. For two reasons. First of all, he essentially writes their checks and keeps them around! Secondly, the minute he admits to bad officiating he supplies ammo to the players union. The players union has used much lesser issues to their bargaining power. This is a business in all aspects. Stern is smart enough to think about the business aspect at all times, including keeping his job!

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