Doc Rivers all but guaranteed himself a hefty fine from the NBA with his postgame press conference on Tuesday night, and I’m sure he doesn’t care. Like most others, Rivers felt that the officiating crew screwed the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
More specifically, Rivers was furious when the Thunder were awarded a crucial possession after Reggie Jackson clearly lost the ball out of bounds.
“In my opinion let’s take away replay,” Rivers said. “Let’s take away the replay system, because that’s our ball and we win the game. And we got robbed because of that call. Everybody in the arena saw it and everybody was shocked when (the officials) said Oklahoma City. That was our ball.”
Rivers even felt that Matt Barnes fouled Reggie Jackson, but he said it was clear it should have been the Clippers ball after it went out of bounds and no foul was called.
“Whether it was a foul or not — it was — but they didn’t call it,” Rivers added. “He didn’t see the foul, but he had to be honest on the replay. That didn’t happen.”
To his credit, Rivers admitted that his players did plenty to blow the game. He criticized them for trying to milk the clock with three minutes left and for turning the ball over. He even said they made a mistake by fouling Russell Westbrook when he was shooting a 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds left, though that looked like a b.s. foul.
“I don’t want to hear that they didn’t have that replay,” he said. “That’s a bunch of crap. That’s what I heard. That’s a bunch of crap and y’all know it. … We made a comedy of errors. Having said that, we still have the right to win the game if the ball says it’s our ball.
“We have two more games to play, but that could be a series defining call. And that’s not right.”
Rivers has every right to be furious. The conspiracy theories have already littered the internet, ranging from the NBA trying to quiet the Donald Sterling situation as quickly as possible to a Kevin Durant-LeBron James NBA Finals already being predetermined. It’s tough to argue against any of that when the referees blow a call that badly.