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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

Doc Rivers reveals referee’s alarming message during Bucks game

Doc Rivers in a suit

Doc Rivers looks ahead. Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

Part of an NBA referee’s job is to be impartial on the court. But one referee couldn’t help but notice that something has been off with the Milwaukee Bucks lately.

The Bucks have lost four games in a row — their longest losing streak of the season thus far. The first three defeats came against teams in the NBA’s bottom eight in terms of record.

After the Bucks’ Friday loss to the Raptors, head coach Doc Rivers had to answer several questions about the team’s recent slide. Rivers admitted that one particular referee that night told him that there was a “heaviness” that was palpable with the team on the floor.

“You can feel it,” said Rivers of the team’s frustration during the streak. “You can literally feel it during the game. … Even one of the officials said it, ‘Man, you can feel the heaviness of your team right now.'”

That heaviness seemed to carry over Sunday to the Bucks’ subsequent game against the New York Knicks. Milwaukee led the contest 61-50 at halftime. But New York outscored them by 24 points in the second half to seal a 122-109 Knicks win.

The Bucks’ formerly tight grip on the 2-seed in the East has loosened considerably over the last two weeks. After Sunday’s slate of games, Milwaukee sits just a game ahead of the Knicks and Orlando Magic for the conference’s second-best record.

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