Last night’s game between the Mavs and the Warriors was a real gem with a lot of excitement, and the fans had the opportunity to see two superstars go at it for the entire game. Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic both put on a show in which they combined for 99 points, scoring at will, leaving the team’s defenses completely helpless at times. The Mavs won the game 132-134, but the story afterward was the frustration over some of the calls, which weren’t properly officiated.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talked about it after the game, the frustration over all the calls Luka Doncic was getting. Doncic earned his respect and reputation with the refs, and on top of that, he is a master in drawing fouls. He went to the free-throw line 14 times in the game, which isn’t the worst, but those fouls’ timing completely changed the dynamic of the game in Mavs’ favor.
“I don’t fault the officials. I fault the league for basically gifting those calls to all of our players.Steve Kerr
Asked Steve Kerr about the lean-in fouls that Luka Doncic got tonight (and so many others get on a nightly basis): “I don’t fault the officials. I fault the league for basically gifting those calls to all of our players.” https://t.co/lbTFd31Hw9 pic.twitter.com/RUI1RDsdPn
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 7, 2021
Kerr was brutally honest about the situation and said it’s not just Luka who uses this type of tactics to draw fouls. It’s used by many other players in the league, the Warriors as well, and he believes the refs should do a better job at calling those plays.
This type of statement from Kerr perpetuates the notion that it’s easier to score in this era than previously in the NBA. Players are doing a great job at selling fouls better than ever before, and it’s hurting the game. As Kerr said, it’s up to the league to make some sense of it and implement the rules to allow defenders to play defense. That may lead to some players getting exposed, especially the ones that are great at drawing fouls most of the time and therefore hurt the game.