Hardly helpful, the NBA admitted that it missed a crucial call late in opening game of the round one playoffs series between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to the NBA, Chris Paul, who made numerous errors late in Game 1, should have been afforded two free throws in a two-point game with 18.9 seconds remaining. However, officials on the court ruled that no foul had occurred, and Paul was the last player to touch the basketball on its way out of bounds. Replay confirmed Paul’s final touch, so the Warriors gained possession and maintained their slim lead.
Ironically, the series opener was marred by whistle happy referees who effectively benched Blake Griffin and Andre Iguodala by fouling both players out in limited minutes. However, when the time came to blow the whistle, the referees fell curiously silent.
The past is the past, and on Monday, the Clippers look to even the series, as the NBA’s statement of fault has no impact on the series or the result of Game 1.
For Game 2, the Clippers must keep Griffin out of foul trouble and keep their star forward on the court. Also, Paul must rebound from his horrific finish to Game 1, and the home team must guard against playing one-on-one basketball late in the game.
Although his team lost the opener, Clippers coach Doc Rivers can take some positives away from Saturday’s disappointing loss.
First of all, Griffin’s limited time on the court was still incredibly productive. In 19 minutes, the Clippers’ most valuable player of the season finished with 16 points, three assists and three rebounds. The Clippers were plus-nine points when the versatile forward was on the court, so if Rivers can find a way to keep him out of foul trouble, the Clippers should fare well for the remainder of the series with Griffin involved.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis was a force. In 22 minutes, the playoff-seasoned power forward scored six points, pulled down six rebounds, passed off three assists and even swiped three steals. Along with that, Davis energized the crowd, and the late-season addition to the squad provided fans a glimpse into the type of role he played in the Boston Celtics’ 2008 NBA championship.
Finally, J.J. Redick is ready. Redick only played five of the final 30 games of the regular season due to injury, but the Clippers shooting guard was 8-11 for 22 points on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Clippers got trapped playing one-on-one basketball down the stretch, and Redick did not attempt a single shot in the fourth quarter. Still, Game 1 provided proof that Redick was ready and up for the occasion.
Game 2 tips off at 7:30 pm Pacific Time at Staples Center.