The NBA Playoffs have started.
The first game of the day on Saturday saw the Toronto Raptors give the Brooklyn Nets a 1-0 lead in the series between the 3- and 6- seeds in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors committed 17 turnovers in a seven-point 94-87 loss. It was a physical contest, marred by 42 total fouls.
However, if you thought the officials let loose with the whistles in the first game, you may have missed the second game.
Game 2 of the day featured the Golden State Warriors in Staples Center to face the 3-seed Los Angeles Clippers—two teams that don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. The officials were all over the place, with four players having three or more fouls in the first half. Blake Griffin and Andre Iguodala were both limited to 19 and 20 minutes respectively, both fouling out in the fourth quarter.
There were 51 total fouls called in the Western Conference showdown that saw Golden State walk away with a 109-105 victory. For as many calls that were made, there was plenty of physical play—much of which could have merited another blown whistle.
A prime example of a non-call, Chris Paul’s sixth and final turnover, which enabled Harrison Barnes to, in turn, get fouled and make 1-of-2 free throws to stretch the Warriors’ lead to three. Paul was clearly fouled by Draymond Green as he rounded the elbow, the resulting contact caused him to lose control of the ball as it went out of bounds.
Over the course of the final 13 seconds, Golden State missed 3-of-4 free throw attempts, Los Angeles just couldn’t capitalize. It was a compelling and exciting game to watch.
Many in and around the league were watching as well.
I’m loving these no calls
— Kent Bazemore (@KentBazemore20) April 19, 2014
Former Golden State Warriors guard Kent Bazemore (now with the LA Lakers) took pleasure in some of the physical play that the referees were allowing, while one-time Warrior, now Houston Rockets forward, Carl Landry was encouraged to see Coach Jackson getting praise from play-by-play commentator Jeff Van Gundy.
Los Angeles guard JJ Redick had the Philadelphia 76ers Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Carter-Williams recalling his college days at Duke University, shooting 8-of-11 for 22 points, second among all Clippers players.