Post-game Reactions

After playoff games in select situations, the NBA allows one pool reporter access to the crew chief of a playoff contest to answer questions about specific calls or play. For today, an AP reporter was selected to speak with Danny Crawford about the controversial calls on Pierce in the 4th quarter of the contest.

Here’s a portion of the transcript, via CBS Sports:

Q: What did Paul Pierce do to merit the 2nd technical with 7:00 remaining?

Crawford: “It’s what we call a verbal taunt. He directed profanity towards (Dwyane) Wade. And in the rulebook, that is a verbal taunt. And it just so happened to be Pierce’s second technical foul.”

Q: What did Pierce do for the technical after the (James) Jones foul with 7:59 left?

Crawford: “The first technical foul, it was contact during a dead ball. He approached Jones and got right in his face. There wasn’t a head-butt, but he got right into his face after a hard foul.”

Q: Why did Jones merit a technical with 7:59 remaining?

Crawford: “We just looked at that. It was Jones’ hard foul that pretty much precipitated Paul doing what he did. The technical foul on Jones will probably be looked at. He didn’t do as much as we thought. We thought he got in and became aggressive or initiated. But after looking at video, that’s something that we’ll have to look at again.”

Q: And was Wade’s technical for the foul, verbal taunting or otherwise?

Crawford: “He actually walked toward Pierce and that’s why Wade received his, walking toward Pierce and then Pierce’s reaction to that.”

A few quick thoughts on this and reaction from Doc

First the good news. After reviewing the play, the referees confirmed that Pierce’s facial contact with Jones was NOT a headbutt. Not that there was a major worry that The Truth could be subject to a suspension for Game 2 after the way this debacle was handled, but it still could have been a subject of contention moving forward. After this explanation, it looks to be a non-issue.

Now, as for everything else, this really was just sad. Much like Game 5 of the Orlando series with Kendrick Perkins (also tossed after two questionable tech’s), the sequence shows just a lack of awareness by the officials, specifically Malloy in dealing with Pierce. In this situation, you have to be aware that Pierce has a tech. HAVE TO.  Anything short of a full-on physical confrontation has to be dealt with carefully by the referees for a star player, on either team for that matter. Exchanging a few four-letter words? Please.

It would be one thing if the refs were trying to establish control early in the game, and prevent things from getting out of hand. I still wouldn’t like a double T then on both Wade and Pierce but I’d at least understand it. This wasn’t that however.

Instead, this was the fourth quarter of the most anticipated playoff series of the year, and thanks to a quick trigger by Malloy, the officials will be a big part of the story for the next 2 days. And to be honest, no one wants that.

I’ll stop there, instead of getting started on the Jermaine O’Neal “flagrant” foul which resulted in the five-point swing for Miami at a critical juncture in the third quarter.

Overall, the Celtics had a lot of problems today and were going to lose this contest either way in all likelihood. Unfortunately a couple tough calls by the officials made sure of that reality.

Here’s Doc on both the fouls via Boston.com

“I thought [the foul by] James Jones was a clear fragrant,” said Rivers. “He just went to the head and grabbed. I thought Dwyane Wade was a definite flagrant. I thought both were flagrants. They were not called. We reacted, and that’s exactly what they wanted us to do. So we have to be better than that.”

Rivers said he expected Miami’s physical play.

“You knew it was coming,” said Rivers. “All they did was talk about being physical. That wasn’t physical. It wasn’t physical. That was chippy.”

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Zee

    The Heat are playing with fire now (pun intended). They've made the C's angry and we will take it to them next game.

    • chris

      We've seen the Heat play their best game.

      But the C's have plenty left in the tank. It ain't going 7.

    • dal

      C's in 5 baby. Cs in 5.

      • NHBluesMan

        if they do, it'll be a close game in Miami in game 5… maybe LeBron bricking ANOTHER game-winner attempt.

        I think it's abit more likely to have the C's win in 6 games. They take game 2, then win at least 1 close game at home (the other potentially being a blow-out) and then Miami, under pressure, manages a win at home, but the C's use a strong performance to close it in 6 and face the Bulls.

        Most definitely won't happen EXACTLY like that, but that's my theory

  • Paul

    C's will make adjustments and get back after them in Game 2…

  • MP!

    Well, we weren't gonna win anyway. But that still was BS.

  • Brad from Fall River

    Being a part of the story is exactly what refs like Ed Malloy and Joe Crawford want. Gotta make sure everyone knows they're there. Makes me sick.

    • plok

      they shouldt even put malloy officiating.such a shame,he should know better on when to call it a foul..what a shame on malloy!! now the celts should know how malloy officiates!and i ddnt like malloys gestures after having pp ejected when doc complained a lil bit and as if he wants to get doc out also from the court!

  • steveb

    Just comparing JO getting a flagrant but Jones and Wade not getting them, no excuse for that. I agree Celts did not deserve to win but the refs gave them over 5 points there and ejected the captain.

  • torpid bunny

    I just don't understand how Jones doesn't get a flagrant. He deliberately struck Pierce around the head. I'm baffled.

    • Guest

      Remember when Kobe elbowed Mike Bibby right in the head and gave him a bloody nose in front of the refs in the 2002 western conference and they didn't do anything? Same with the Shaq flagrant that was never called. The Heat have too much star power so the refs are gonna call lame fouls for them without any effort. C's just need to play through it and find a way to beat them without worrying about fouls.

      • lakershater13

        Not only the star power on the court. Look at the stars in attendance. Tim Donaghy got caught. How many of these other officials haven't been. Stern is the judge and the jury. He should have a private investigation of all the leagues refs. Problem is Stern has his hands in the cookie jar. He doesn't want to lose money by not having games fixed.

        Many will say that we played like crap and wouldn't have won anyways. Take away a bogus 5 point swing on the "flagrant" foul. Add two flagrant fouls to the Heat.
        I agree we played like crap. We also played like crap game 1 and 2 against the knicks. We won both those game down the stretch with execution from all of our players including our captain who should have played the remaining 7 minutes of this game.

    • plok

      meaning,the refs are heat fans,,they should know the difference,what a shame on these refs//anyway,im a celtic fan,im so sure,game 2 will belong to them..pp will be back and kickthe heats A$$! 🙂

  • I_Bleed_Green

    The C’s didn’t lose because of those calls. It’s not like they lost by 1 or 2 points, so why waste time complaining? Let’s hope they even it up the next game.

    • Batman

      Thank you this is the best post today

  • Rob

    100% positive celtics win Tuesday led by KG and Paul.

  • Batman

    Some things to take from this game:

    1.) I like seeing Jeff Green aggressive. GIVE HIM ONE CALL REFS
    2.) Rebounding wasn't bad, we tied
    3.) Ed Malloy should not be officiating games at the playoff level. If he thinks Pierce "taunting" is enough to give him a 2nd tech in the middle of the 4th quarter of a playoff game…..he's too immature

    • greenman

      Green got fucking closelined by Anthony in the 4th on a drive.. No call. It was terrible, I do not know how that was missed. Or all this other garbage. Terrible Officiating today.

  • rtifishul

    The Heat shot 14 more FT than us while we had our captain ejected during a run in the fourth quarter with SEVEN minutes left, and they still only won by NINE! They'd better hope Pierce gets ejected and that Rondo is in foul trouble every game because they can't hang otherwise!

  • celticfan

    Danny Crawford was one of the refs tonight he is known not to like the Celtics. that's why the calls were missed greenman. those refs were for the Heat from the Go. Stern Does not want the Celtics to win.i turned it off i seen how the refs were making calls and it was not right. James got his point from the free throw..hell james only had 2 fouls on him the whole game now what does that say Bibby had 2 Dwade had 4 and Bosh had 4. most of Celtics had 4 fouls a piece. this damn game was for the refs it was givin to the Heat they didn't win it on their own what a shame. heat you have to get the ref to help you win games.but it's ok Celtics lets cme out on tuesday and kick some Heat ass

    • Anthony

      Yes… I hate Danny Crawford. Every Celts game he officiates, he is so quick to whistle against the Celts.

      Besides the JO flagrant, the Jones non-flagrant, Dwade's bitch move non-flagrant, I just hate the ticky tack fouls that the Celts get call for but the Luke Warms doesnt. Rondo was almost wrapped around by Wade but no-call. If it was reversed, you know the Luke Warms wouldve gotten the calls. And several JGreen drives shouldve warranted foul calls but nothing.

      Delonte played well but does he have to be such a headcase? Throwing the ball at Chalmers was not necessary. Good to see JGreen be aggressive. Very disappointed at Big Baby. He's been playing so poorly lately.

  • plok

    EFFFF those referee they should know better..next time NBA should put refs that has more experience officiating playoff games! and what annoys me more was van gundy's comment.i never heard him say nicce to the celtics. and please! i hope that malloy will not officiate next nba game! he's soo into miami.. such a bias REFEREE and what a shame!! lets go celtics! lets give that lebron james his lunch,a lunch which he wouldnt really like!!!!! LETS GO CELTICS!!!!! lets bounce back on game 2!

  • plok

    the celtics just wanted to let the heat taste what winning is.. celtics go!go!go!

  • Trickle Up

    Wrong. He ejected Pierce for getting his second T.

  • mm3

    1) Sure the C's didn't deserve this win, but the refs fucked them over. As someone wrote earlier here, those refs just want everyone to know that they're the ones in charge. Egos, egos, egos.

    2) The Celtics sure can win this whole thing. The Heat were playing their best basketball ever. They need Wade to have a spectacular night and Jones to have a career night in order to beat the Celtics by 9 only, when they've lost their captain and are in foul trouble because of the refs. So my point is, with both teams at full speed and full capacity, the Celtics win it. Now we all know winning a series against the Heat will most probably not be only about beating them…it will be about the referees also. You know, after all, it's the Heat with Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, and it's almost like the mandate of the NBA to make them win. I hope I'm wrong. Though for that not to happen, the C's will have to beat the Heat by a lot of points. That way, even the refs' foul calls won't be able to determine the outcome of the game.

  • lakershater13

    In baseball Bud Selig could not get the steroid issue under control. The government stepped in.

    If Stern does not want to actually look into the officiating problems in this league the government needs to step in. The league officials and refs should not be able to illegally make thousands maybe millions off of these games that people pay top dollar to see. Tim Donaghy is the only ref to be caught so far. He was released for cooperating with the authorities. He says games have been being fixed and nothing is being done about it. Two of the refs from the 2002 game six Lakers/Kings game still ref in the league.

    An article comes out about Danny Crawford reffing playoff games for the Mavs and out of 17 games the Mavs lost 16. After the article comes out Mavs win. I would have bet a lot of money on that game that the Mavs win knowing Danny was under a microscope by thousands that read the article on espn.

    • Batman

      Tim Donaghy lied…..nothing he says is worth listening to

  • Mike

    wade expects one of two things nowadays 2 points or a foul. When he doesn't get the call he throws a fit like a spoiled brat every effin time and never gets a tec. He is one of the players in the league that taunts the most, either by words or gestures, again never called on it.

    Look the cHeat played better in the first half. but in the second we were clearly doing better than them. I remember the run we were making putting the game within 8 until all those flagrants turned it into 13. If it that goes the other way around we would be within 3 and thats just a triple to tie. Again this is all hypothetical but who's to say that it couldn't have happened?BS calls put the game on ice wether you agree or not (its math).

    Again I usually get pissed off when theres a game like this, this was not the case. Down only by 9 while shooting 37% in the first half against their 53%, and with all those bs calls in the second half, and with rondo,KG, pierce and bbd all with subpar games. We can only get better while miami as already reached their ceiling.

    I'll stick with Celtics win in 5.

  • James Patrick

    Am I the only one who saw the elbow Wade put into Paul's chest. That whole game was frustrating. We'll win game two with a new officiating crew!

    • Mike

      Yep he tried to go through PP, yet the result is what we saw… wade is a ''tough'' guy who shoves people in the back and them hides behind (literally) the refs and chalmers or something (see game in miami 2 weeks ago)…

  • Fuck ed malloy

    ed malloy is a fag he should fuck a horse.. hey ed call a tech on me..

  • bad refs

    bulls fan here but had to comment because the ejection was a joke, i'm watching the game to see the best players in the world not some grandstanding ref, who actually seemed to get off on every aspect of the moment from putting his hands on pierce and pushing him back and the dramatic ejection, fcuk you for ruining the game, the best refs in the league are the ones who are invisible, and the crawford flagrant call was a five point play that changed momentum, yeah rondo and pierce needed to finish on offense, but to all those who say the heat were gonna win anyway, you have to remember the heat always find a way to lose close games to good teams, and with pierce in, anything could have happened

  • Bulls Fan

    Like the guy above… I'm a Bulls fan, and really didn't care who won this series (both will make for an excellent conference finals). I don't know how all the flagrants were missed, and how O'Neal got a flagrant on his. I'm hoping the NBA reviews and upgrade the Jones/Wade fouls to flagrants and they rescind Pierce's second T. Doesn't fix game 1, but sends the message. I expect the Celts to come out and lay some pain in game 2. I watched Rondo throw Hinrich across the court a few years ago, would not shocked to see the same happen with DWade this series.

  • coco

    Lemme see…the o'neil non-flagrant "flagrant" = 5pts; the Jones flagrant "non-flagrant"= 2pts (if we got possession); the Wade flagrant "non-flagrant" = 2pts (if we got possession). That's total 9points robbed from the Celts, plus the tech that shouldn't have been a tech on the captain, 1pt. Could have been a closer game if it wasn't for the refs.

  • solid green

    go celts.. you can do it.. kick those bastard referees..

  • Big Green

    lebron's push-ups after an and 1 layup? what do you call that refs? ref's ran that game.

    • Mike

      lebrownosers thats the term for the nba rules these days…

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