It’s been a common theme during the Warriors run of dominance — claims that the refs typically favor them. Now, there may be data that backs that up.
Throughout the Golden State Warriors run of dominance, haters of the team and their opponents have long argued that the refs have favored the defending back-to-back champions.
Now, there may be some data to back up that claim, and it comes courtesy of the Houston Rockets.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, sources told the publication that the Rockets are building a “data-driven case” that refs often favor Warriors when they match up with them.
So, how is Houston building their case?
The Rockets, according to Amick, have petitioned the league to obtain the play-by-play officiating reports for their seven-game war in the 2018 Western Conference FInals. The reports are a detailed breakdown of each officiating call within a game to see if the refs made the “correct call” in each situation.
For context, the play-by-play officiating report is what the NBA uses to determine if flagrant fouls should be bumped up or down, or if a technical foul should be rescinded or upheld. As Amick wrote, the Rockets are making the argument that erroneous officiating calls, or no-calls, cost the Rockets points.
In total, the Rockets protested that they were “harmed to the tune of 93 points,” the source told Amick. The Rockets specifically pointed to Game 7, in which Houston claims that two of their 27 consecutive missed 3-pointers were “missed foul calls”
The data-driven report came to light in Game 1 of this year’s Western Conference second round matchup, in which the Rockets vigorously complained that the officials were favoring the Warriors. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni and James Harden were both slapped with technicals, and Chris Paul was ejected in the final seconds.
This is about to get very interesting.