The Clippers in the CP3 era were one of the most annoying teams to watch in the NBA. The constant complaining to the refs on one side and foul hunting on the other, a poster for hypocrisy disguised under “whatever it takes, competitive spirit.” To be clear, this was by no means a CP3 thing; Doc Rivers was equally irritating, and then it caught on to the other players as well.
CP3 has moved to the Rockets and so have his worse habits. The Rockets are leading the league in analytics-based decisions, threes and layups are OK, everything else should be avoided like the plague. Still, in 10 years I will equally remember them for foul-hunting, Harden’s traveling and Chris Paul bringing his complaining repertoire to the team.
We covered the ridiculous calls the Rockets have been getting, most recently when LeBron and the Lakers defended Harden with their hands behind their back for a period in a game. It seems the referee association got the message and did the typical thing – overreacted.
In their last game against the Celtics, the Rockets got three techs in three consecutive plays. Check it out:
So, the first one may be legitimate. We don’t know what CP3 told the ref and without any info, I would side with the ref. Someone who does so much talking and complaining does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.
The second one was an overreaction. Harden didn’t get the call (maybe Kyrie as the help defender made illegal contact, we didn’t get the angle) but the tech was called on D’Antoni for saying “Come on guys” after watching a review on the screen. He didn’t curse, he didn’t step on to the floor and made a scene. The man had a perfectly acceptable reaction. Obviously, the refs were making a statement.
If there were any doubt, we had the third tech on Capella. Yes, he did hang on to the rim half a second longer than necessary, but can you honestly say he was taunting or showing somebody up? After the third one, it was apparent this was a message from the refs to the Rockets.
The only thing is, the plays where they decided to send the message made it seem like this wasn’t about the stuff we covered – letting them know from now on they need to play more and travel, foul-hunt and complain less. This felt more like a personal thing. Overall, two of the three techs are complete bullsh– and continue the weird and inconsistent officiating we’ve been having all year.
Do I feel sorry for the Rockets? What do you think?