On Sunday, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made it clear he didn’t blame the NBA’s officials for his team’s Game 3 loss that gave the Lakers a 2-1 series lead, despite a big free-throw disrepancy.
“We didn’t lose the game because of the officials so there’s no point in whining about anything. There were definitely calls we didn’t like but every game every coach can say that. This is not about anything other than our performance,” Kerr said then.
After Monday’s Game 4 loss that gave Los Angeles a 3-1 lead, however, Kerr was a bit more annoyed with some of the calls, and outlined why in his postgame media availability:
“I thought the fourth was about [Lonnie] Walker, and it was about — I think we had three or four illegal screens called, and that was disappointing. I didn’t get a look at the replay on any of them, but there were a couple that were very disappointing live. But the Lakers are a team that plays with a lot of gamesmanship. They understand how to generate some calls. I thought they took some flops and were rewarded. But I’ll have to see the replays. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe those were all illegal screens, but it didn’t feel like it watching the game.”
The Warriors complaining about illegal screen calls, considering some of the, shall we say, generous whistles — or lack thereof — that Draymond Green has gotten on screens his entire career is sort of rich. If you want to see that most of social media noticed that as well, check the comments and quotes on this tweet.
But as Kerr said after Game 3, every coach, team and fan doesn’t like some of the calls that go against them. That’s life. He also probably said all this in a measured enough way that he’ll avoid a fine tomorrow.
All that noted, illegal screen calls didn’t cause Draymond Green to pass the ball like a podcaster on the team’s final meaningful possession, or force Stephen Curry to throw the ball out of bounds like he was tossing away a bouquet at a wedding from his back. The Dubs had chances to tie this series up, and couldn’t make it happen.
However, we also shouldn’t be surprised that a Phil Jackson disciple was eventually going to call out the refs in an effort to generate more favorable whistles (or a lack of them). Along with not calling timeouts and sitting on a high chair, that’s straight out of Zen Master 101. Most Lakers fans surely remember. We’ll see if it works in Game 5 on Wednesday as the Lakers try to close this series out.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.