James Harden openly cried foul after Game 1, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr openly mocked the Rockets guard on Monday.
As the athletes have gotten bigger and faster, sports have become harder and harder to officiate. James Harden is perhaps the hardest player in the NBA to officiate, as he toes the line of travelling and initiates contact better than anyone. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged how hard it is to officiate during his press conference on Monday.
Harden’s complaints, some borderline calls and Draymond Green’s assertion that officiating is an “inexact science” after Sunday’s Game 1 aside, the numbers from the game say this.
The Rockets were called for 21 fouls, while the Warriors were called for 24 fouls. Houston went 24-for-29 from the line (Harden went 13-for-14), and Golden State went 21-for-27 from the line.
The slimmest of margins are accentuated in a four-point game, as missed calls get highlighted and replayed over and over, but there was no real advantage for either team in Game 1. Harden called out asking for a “fair chance” after the game, which is something those that try to defend him might say too.
As he took his seat in from off the assembled media on Monday, Kerr offered an impersonation of Harden’s flopping.
Kerr went on to offer calm comments, from every coach in the NBA watching back games and finding times their players were fouled to citing how some players have become good at deception to get calls. Harden is routinely among the individual free throw leaders in the league, as he has mastered manipulating angles and subtly creating contact without being blatant about it.
This Warriors-Rockets series is surely going six or seven games, and the intensity of Game 1 will be matched in every game that’s left. After games, we’re all here for the back-and-forth comments between players and the coaches entering the fray as Kerr just did regarding Harden.