Easily the most controversial call of the second round of the NBA Playoffs came in Game 1 of the Heat-Celtics series. Paul Pierce already had one technical foul when he set a screen on Dwyane Wade in the fourth quarter. They exchanged words, and Pierce may have said something to referee Ed Malloy who gave him his second technical. The second technical resulted in an automatic ejection that had Doc Rivers livid and all fans screaming about the call. Here’s a video of the Paul Pierce ejection for you to judge:
Jeff Van Gundy was going nuts as a commentator about the call, saying referee Ed Malloy had gone too far. Fans were screaming the same thing. That may be the case, but we can’t fairly judge the situation until we know what Pierce said to Malloy. The NBA instituted a rule before the season saying players were being watched more closely for overt reactions to calls and that their reactions could result in technicals. I’m guessing that’s the reason Pierce got his second technical that resulted in his ejection.
Under these guidelines, it’s quite possible that Pierce’s words (or actions) warranted a tech. Whether the rule should be in place is a debatable issue, but what isn’t questionable is receiving a technical for overt reactions to calls under these rules. Sadly this isn’t the first controversial call we’ve had during the playoffs.
Chest bump to Ben Golliver for the video