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Your Morning Dump… Where Doc is still steaming about ‘Jump Ball Gate’

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Doc Rivers and his staff have three problems with the controversial jump ball call on Paul Pierce Friday night with nine seconds left in regulation, and the Celtics leading by two points in what evolved as an overtime loss to Chicago.

In asking the league to review the play, the team is claiming: A) Pierce was fouled; B) Rajon Rondo could be seen directly in front of referee Marc Davis calling for a timeout before referee Sean Corbin signalled for a jump ball; and C) A much-smaller Jimmy Butler was the player who actually tied up Pierce, and not Joakim Noah, who eventually won the tap against Pierce.

Not that there will be any rewards, beyond giving the league a heads up.

“It’s to make me feel better,” said Rivers.

Lest anyone forget, it was Rondo’s bump of Davis in Game 1 of last year’s first round in Atlanta that earned the Celtics point guard a one-game suspension.

Asked if Rondo’s history with officials is hurting him, Rivers said, “I don’t know. That’s your call. Rondo played pretty well last night, so I don’t think he was affected.”

Rivers said he would never think of asking to have an official banned from calling Celtics games, simply because the wrong result would probably come out of it.

“You can request, but that ain’t ever gonna happen. Knowing commissioner (David) Stern, that means you’ll get (the targeted official) the next game,” said Rivers. “But I think (the officials) you’re talking about have run-ins with other guys, too. I can tell you the Chicago people probably felt the same way going into this game. I hope there’s never any grudges, but it is a human game. I just think our league is better than that.”

The officiating crew’s overall handling of the jump-ball call, though, has drawn serious questions from Rivers and his staff, starting with the belief Pierce was fouled by Butler.

“He was fouled, no doubt about that,” said Rivers. “But if you watch it, Rondo absolutely called a timeout, and he was an inch away from Marc Davis’ face and did it twice, and then you can see Sean Corbin’s hand go up for a jump ball, so it was clear that, in my opinion he was fouled, No. 1, and No. 2 we got the timeout and it wasn’t called.”

Boston Herald

What’s that old saying by former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly that Doc Rivers likes to use with his own team? “Get past mad.”  Clearly, Doc and his team are still rightfully angry at the end of regulation from Friday night’s game, also known as “Jump Ball Gate.”  No doubt it was a rough call in which ultimately contributed to a brutal loss.  As fans, we all were (and probably still are) fuming and upset from that loss.  But in a 1-point loss, it’s difficult to pin it on a single call, no matter how bad it is.  Just like last year during Game 2′s kick-to-the-balls loss at Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals, the loss can’t simply be attributed to that lone call that was missed when Wade whacked Rondo across the face on a lay-up.  However, in Mark Murphy’s piece, he does raise a more concerning point.

Rondo’s incident with official Marc Davis during Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks last year is well known.  As is the shady officiating Davis did during a Celtics-Hawks game just a few weeks earlier last season.  Referees are human and they could hold a grudge against a player and/or team.  Like Doc, I’d like to believe officials are better than that but they are human.

Look, Marc Davis and any other official can clearly blow a call here and there.  Just as the Celtics can clearly fail to box out Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah in the first half, allowing them to easily grab an offensive rebound for easy put-backs.  Just as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett can easily miss on several of shots they usually make, including sub-par free throw shooting.  I know it’s not as fun to blame losses on things like that and it’s easy to look at Marc Davis (or any ref) like they’re the biggest reason.  The point is you can go back at so many plays throughout a 1-point loss and say “if only this happened instead.”

As far as Rondo’s reputation hurting him, sure there could be something to that as well, and Doc has said that he has a long time to improve that.  He also did get nine free throw attempts on Friday night, more than his last seven games combined.  In fact, he got a call his way when he drove to the basket against Nate Robinson, lunged into Nate and drew the foul.  If you recall, this is the same play he tried on Josh Smith but instead got whistled for the offensive foul, then “bumped” Rodney Mott.  It’s frustrating to see such a tight game have a controversial call at the end but it’s not exactly the sole reason what decides the win/loss.  But it’s usually what always sticks out the most.

Related Links: Boston GlobeCeltics unhappy with call late in loss to Bulls | CSNNERivers submits video of jump ball to league

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston - Practice: X-rays negative for ailing Bradley | Sullinger deserves spot in rookie game

Boston Globe - Report cites NBPA’s Billy Hunter for improprieties, though nothing criminal (Sunday Notes)

Boston Herald - Ex-Celtic is still Green (Sunday Notes)

CSNNE - Bradley ‘doubtful’ vs Pistons | Barbosa happy in Boston; didn’t ask for a trade

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  • Pierce UK

    Adding gate at the end of everything controversial to make your point seem more political and justified

    Never a jump ball but I’m glad it’s just regur season. We’re just cruising and hiding any signs of life till the playoff to catch the teams off gaurd

  • Raoul

    I think the point on the Red’s Army portion of this, makes no sense; to divert the blame from the bad call onto bad play, Rondo’s reputation, etc. Bad play still got us into a position where if we could get a successful inbound pass, the other team’s only choice was having to foul and Pierce goes to the line. The game was lost due to that call… period. You can have an 82-0 season, be undefeated thru the Conference Finals, be in Game 7 of the Finals with a seemingly Won game because you are up by 2 points and there is 10-secs left with possession. All the other team can do is foul. If the ref butchers that call, then guess what… the opposing team has successfully played with 6 players on the floor, and given the advantage. When it comes to BASKETBALL, the team, the players, the coach… they did everything they were supposed to, in order to get into a win-worthy position at the end of regulation. The Bulls did nothing to contribute to the bad call, that put them in a position which ultimately meant the Celtics not getting a shot attempt and nearly guaranteed loss of possession. When you are up by 2 with 10-secs and possession, your team should be the only individuals capable of screwing that up by a turnover or missed shot. This loss and the positive position we were in as a team being stripped and changed into a positive position for the other team, was solely due the call. Nothing else. You can talk about all that happened prior, but we were in a position to win and instead that position was taken away to the advantage of the Bulls, by someone that was on neither team. In that new position, there was nearly no chance to get possession back, and our only defensive option would be to stop the ball, not the player as fouling would give them 2 easy free throws to go to OT. We only needed to catch the ball and get fouled, and making free throws to only better our chances. I don’t think anyone would sit there and say Paul Pierce is worse at shooting Free throws than he is jumping against Noah.

    This is just my opinion. To talk about “Celtics should’ve just played better” and “Rondo should be nicer” takes away from the point… Officials should be graded and charged for clearly bad calls and any bad calls that leads to a change of possession at the end of a game. The Celtics could have been up the entire game… that would not change the fact that any team in the position we were in and getting a call like that totally takes away the advantage that team has put themselves in. As for Rondo, yea he hates bad calls and he won’t allow a ref to make mistakes without giving his 2 cents… I’m sure he’s like that with anyone and everyone that affects his play… including his teammates.

    Sorry Jay, but I just cannot agree with the majority of your piece being on what the Celtics hand in this bad call may be, or that if their play were to have been better, a bad call is a non-factor. Same for last year’s call… it doesn’t matter how you grind out the game… as long as you’re in a good position at the end of it. Rondo did what he had to do as a basketball player last year, and was cheated by non-players.

    • Raoul

      Also, no mention at all about the timeout called in the refs face twice by Rondo? Doc may BS on the court and say things he doesn’t truly believe to the refs, but he rarely does so post-game. If that’s what he says happened, I’ll take his word for it and wonder “If this really happened, why?”

    • Frank

      I AGREE! The Celtics won that game, the first 47 minutes and 48 seconds had us up by 2 and the ball, we won, I don’t care what happened all game, we played a tough team without Bradley we rebounded great against a great rebounding team and the refs screwed us.

    • stephanie

      Agree, in basketball there’s always going to a play that could have been done better or a shot that should have went in. This was the Bulls game for 3 qtrs, and C’s had the resolve to fight it out to get a win. You want to see that in your team because those are playoff situations.

      Bulls got gifted the W and it’s funny that there’s more C’s fans defending the decision and I look on Bulls blogs and they’re totally recognizing that it was the wrong call.

    • KGino

      +1… RedsArmy, they clearly made enough plays to win the game, and lost bc of this BS call. You can say they didn’t make enough plays to put them in a position where they didn’t have to worry about the refs affecting the outcome of the game, that’s a fair assessment. But to say they didn’t deserve to win or the loss can’t be blamed on this one call is completely wrong.

  • stephanie

    In basketball you have 4 qtrs to play. It doesn’t matter about the shoulda, coulda , woulda’s, all that matters is the score at zero. Who cares if the C’s didn’t win the first 3 qtrs, they came back in the 4th and had that game and it was taken away with the WRONG call, not a controversial (could go either way) call.

    Plus Rondo, was signaling for a timeout. Who cares about his past or reputation with officials. They are paid to do a job and if they’re holding grudges they be fired. Simple as that.

  • Shawncvd

    The time out not being awarded is complete and utter crap. Fouls often get ignored in closing seconds…But a time out?

    Also letting Noah jump was garbage.

    Both teams deserved this win…I just feel one team was definitively robbed.

  • Cam

    Your retarded if you can’t see that every time Marc Davis is on the floor Rondo and the Celts get royally screwed.

    And if u want to justify a ridiculously bad call to change the outcome of the game by saying KG could have made more free throws, Bass could have gotten out that rebound, Terry could have tied his shoes tighter. Well whatever makes you sleep at night.

    Even after the worst of the worst from officials NBA lovers try and deny the joke that is embarrassing officiating and attempt to make it seem like the players always get to decide the games even when that’s a bold faced lie

  • http://mrcuret.wordpress.com mrcuret

    I just hope the league fines or suspends the refs. If they hold any grudges against teams or players they shouldn’t be officiating a game, they get paid to do their job is not like they’re doing it for free, so if they can’t do their job to the best of their abilities then they should get fired.

  • eddysamson

    If I was Doc, I’d be steaming all season about this BS. Didnt even know about Rondo until I read this. Complete and utter bullshit. Not one, not two, but THREE oversights in the last 10 seconds of a 2 point game.

    THAT is inexcusable. Something needs to be done about the officiating. It is horrible game in and game out.

    But what can be done? Stern (or his puppet next year) will never listen to the fanbase. Not unless we boycott…but no one is going to do that =/

    • eddysamson

      Might I add those 3 oversights never would have happened in grade school ball, middle school ball, AAU, high school ball, intramural ball, any college division…

  • KGino

    We can only hope poor officiating doesn’t bite us in the post season like it did last year. I can live with them blowing a call in the regular season, but if they pull any shit like they did in games 1 and 2 of the ECF last year, people need to seriously consider boycotting.

    • mike

      No one has the balls to boycott. Every nba fan knows that the league is at best a little sketchy, yet we love the sport so we continue to watch the games, buy the merch, etc. Anyone that thinks the nba is a 100% fair and unbias sport is an idiot. The game will be called based on the star players in the game, the size of the market for the teams playing, betting, personal agendas and issues with coaches/players/teams and of course, what stern sees as being the best business move.

      • eddysamson

        Dude the sport is a LOT bigger than the NBA. My dad got so sick of the NBA, he watches our shitty northern New England (VT/NH) kid’s leagues and high school ball instead. College is huge and much better officiated. Over seas is huge and I can point you to a website where you can stream those games for free…

        If we really wanted to boycott the NBA and continue watching basketball, its possible.

        • eddysamson

          Actually that same website can watch NBA games for free…so yeah if you want to boycott and watch at the same time go for it haha

  • Vggkg

    I wonder if tony Allen will get suspended for the obvious and aggressive bump to the ref near the end of their game vs the bulls they diddnt call a tech but I know that if it was rondo he would’ve been ejected fined and suspended for 5 games

  • CoachBo

    Weak, weak article.

    You sound like a parent watching a junior high game.

    This is the NBA, and that sequence could have – and should have – been correctly officiated by junior high quality referees.

    Why don’t you slap a “By David Stern” byline on this one?

  • paul

    Very weak article defending the NBA and trying to shift blame onto Rondo and the Cs. The NBA manipulates games, and some refs are more brazen than others, of course. That was truly brazen by Davis. Why is he still in the league? That’s not hard to figure. Ask Don Sterni. Or better for you, don’t ask such questions. Don’t want to get on Don Sterni’s bad side, do you?

  • eddysamson

    My reaction to the 3 missed calls leading to a tie game last night:

    http://i.imgur.com/l2EyGPv.gif

  • Curt

    I’m sorry guys, but I can’t point the finger at Jay for writing this article the way he did. It isn’t like he’s wrong.

    The call was crap. The Bulls made two skillful shots to tie/win. The Celtics didn’t hit FTs. In the end, they had fiver more minutes and still lost. The Celtics haven’t played very well, and I bet that few of you will disagree with me after the Detroit game.

    Jay, maybe your point wasn’t ideal for this blog, but at least you wrote well and didn’t just make something up.

  • http://www.redsarmy.com KWAPT

    Chuck didn’t write it. Grow up.