Per ESPN Boston, Doc Rivers thought his technical foul last night was the worst he’s ever received.
“I know mine wasn’t (deserved). I can tell you that much,” said Rivers, whose team got hit with three individual technicals, a delay of game, and an illegal defense call. “I don’t know how long I’ve been in this league, but that has to rank as the worst I’ve ever had. I would have loved to earn it.
“We should never get them anyway. I told our guys that. But everybody has to keep their composure. Not just the players and coaches.”
The Celtics didn’t lose last night because of the referees. They lost because they shot 39.5 percent while the Heat hit half of their shots. They lost because Miami’s athleticism allows them to recover after mistakes and block shots that would be open layups against most teams. They lost because they got out-rebounded by 15 caroms, Dwyane Wade and Lebron James are damn good, and Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen all had off nights at the same time. They lost because their offense sputtered and their defense didn’t pick up the slack.
But damn, some of those technical fouls were horrendous. Ray Allen got T’d up for reacting the same way LeBron does after every single call that goes against him. Doc Rivers got T’d up for saying, “Come on, Ed.” KG got T’d up for tapping the ball after a made basket, as if he were the only one ever to do that.
For the most part, the officiating wasn’t terrible. Even if it had been, I’m not into blaming the refs for a loss, especially when the Celtics were outplayed so handily — even if the Heat’s two free throw advantage was actually bigger than it seemed. (Weirdly enough considering the two teams’ reputations, Boston shot 30 times from inside the paint while the Heat only managed 20 attempts from that distance.) Nothing besides the technical fouls was too egregious, and even the technicals had limited impact because the Heat missed a couple of the resulting free throws.
But this is the playoffs. There’s no need to start pulling the trigger on technical fouls when the Celtics really didn’t do much to deserve them. Keep the whistles in your mouths, zebras, and allow the players to decide the outcome by themselves.
Again, the Celtics would have lost yesterday regardless of the horrendous T’s. They were an old team playing its 14th playoff game in 28 days, and they played like it. The Heat were a younger, more explosive team with plenty of rest, and they played like it too. But you know something’s up when I not only agree with Stephen A. Smith, but also don’t mind hearing his needless shouts.