Game 1 of the Houston Rockets/Golden State Warriors 2nd round playoff matchup took place on Sunday afternoon and right away, it was the most annoying basketball game of the season.
The Warriors took the first victory 104-100, in a game that was filled with blown calls and technical fouls following all of those blown calls. And to make matters worse, it ended with a Golden State W which no one on Earth needed.
Every time James Harden went up for a 3-pointer, he landed on Klay Thompson’s thigh. Clearly, fouls were committed here and not called. A jump shooter must be given space to land back on the ground safely as to avoid snapping their ankles in pieces.
The game would end with the Rockets down 100-103 and Harden attempting to draw contact on a 3-point attempt by throwing his body at Draymond Green.
He didn’t get the call and instead, Chris Paul got a technical foul and thrown out of the game.
There are a lot of moving parts here and everyone can be right at the same time. The Houston Rockets could’ve won this game regardless. They shot 14-for-47 from behind the arc and they lost their cool. That was their decision.
As much as you become frustrated with the officials, you have to recognize that a technical foul gives the other team a free throw. Those points matter. Especially in the postseason. You can’t give buckets. The Rockets had 3 techs yesterday.
We also have to recognize that the Rockets are the boys that cry wolf.
If you spend the entire basketball game pretending to be hit in the face and constantly flailing around in hopes of forcing the refs into blowing their whistle, you also have to understand that when you’re actually fouled, it looks like you’re flailing again.
The Rockets need to take some accountability.
Do you know why James Harden looks like Superman in the regular season and nerdy cuckold Clark Kent in the playoffs? Because he hunts foul calls that don’t exist in a postseason where more contact is allowed which leads him to chuck up awful shots and immediately look at the refs as opposed to, ya know, actually trying to make a shot.
James Harden is so focused on going to the free throw line that he no longer attempts to make shots. It’s all about drawing contact and if the ball happens to land in the basket then cool, AND 1.
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant goes out there and scores 35 points on 11-for-25 shooting and continues to be the most efficient scorer in the NBA behind only Giannis and Playoff Kawhi.
All that being said, Klay Thompson was really out here fouling the shit out of James Harden. Like, blatantly. To the point it appeared intentional. But again, Houston needed to adjust.
Golden State came out of the gates and decided ‘if we foul them on every play, the refs can’t call every single foul’ and Houston’s adjustment was ‘if we keep getting fouled, the refs will have no choice but to start calling it’.
Golden State won that game of the chicken with the refs while, a team that didn’t trust the refs in the first half, came out in the second half like ‘okay, let’s just trust the refs again. They wouldn’t hurt us TWICE’.
If this entire series is going to consist of the Rockets eating their own tails while Steph Curry continues to be a non-factor for 3 quarters only to suddenly make a 3-pointer at the end of the game and shimmy and dance as if he’s been dominating all night long, this will go down as the most excruciating playoff series in NBA history.
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