Sixers To File Grievance Over Officating

4:26pm: The league acknowledged in its last two-minute report that Brunson and Josh Hart both fouled Maxey during the last-minute scramble. It also indicated Nurse should have been granted a timeout on the inbounds play, Bontemps tweets.

7:26am: Following their Game 2 loss to the Knicks in New York on Monday, the Sixers intend to file a grievance with the NBA over the officiating, a team spokesperson told Tim Bontemps of ESPN and Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports.

According to Neubeck, the 76ers’ list of concerns will include (but won’t necessarily be limited to) the following:

  • Two calls in the last two-minute report from Game 1 went against the Sixers.
  • The Sixers have been the most disadvantaged team in the NBA this season based on last two-minute reports, with a report compiled in early April indicating that 22 missed calls benefited their opponents and 11 benefited them, the worst such ratio in the league.
  • The Knicks included detailed referee information in their game notes for the first two games of the series (Twitter link), which Bontemps describes as “unusual.”
  • The Sixers believe they should have been awarded a timeout at multiple points during a key inbounds play and possession late in Monday’s loss (Twitter video link). They also believe Tyrese Maxey was fouled during the play, with Jalen Brunson grabbing his jersey.

That inbounds play occurred with 27 seconds left in the game and the Sixers holding a two-point lead. Head coach Nick Nurse appeared to briefly signal for a timeout just before Kyle Lowry inbounded the ball to Maxey, who was held by Brunson. Maxey fell to the floor with the ball as Nurse attempted to call timeout again, but the Sixers lost possession before a timeout could be granted, leading to a Donte DiVincenzo go-ahead three-pointer.

“Well, the first thing is obviously they score,” Nurse said in describing the sequence after the game. “We take a look at getting it in quick. We don’t get it in quick. I call timeout. Referee looked right at me. Ignored me. Went into Tyrese, I called timeout again. Then the melee started.

“I guess I got to run out onto the floor or do something to make sure and get his attention, but I needed a timeout there to advance it. Would’ve been good. But, couldn’t get it.”

Joel Embiid was even more blunt in expressing his displeasure with the officiating.

“Everybody was trying to call a timeout on the floor,” Embiid said, per Bontemps. “Me included. Coach on the sideline. But they didn’t give it to us. But, forget about the timeout. There’s a bunch of fouls. That’s f—ing unacceptable. …That’s on the frigging referees. I hate to put the game on them. But I am sure the two-minute report is going to come out and we are going to see what happened. … We fought for 47 minutes and whatever 20 seconds. For that to happen … that’s not OK.”

The Sixers weren’t the only team with complaints about the officiating after a tough Monday loss. As Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes, the Lakers also had gripes to share after losing to Denver 101-99 on a Jamal Murray buzzer beater.

Los Angeles was upset that a Michael Porter Jr. foul on D’Angelo Russell in the third quarter, which would have led to a pair of free throws, was overturned because the contact was deemed “marginal” (Twitter video link). Russell later tweeted, “That’s a foul we all saw it on national television.”

“D-Lo clearly gets hit in the face on a drive,” LeBron James said. “What the f–k do we have a replay center for if it’s going to go [like that]? It doesn’t make sense to me. … It bothers me. … And then I just saw what happened with the Sixers-Knicks game too. Like, what are we doing?”

As Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets, the Sixers’ grievance isn’t a formal protest of Game 2, so it won’t affect the outcome of Monday’s contest. It’s presumably just an attempt at gamesmanship on behalf of the 76ers, who will be looking to regain an edge in the series as the teams head to Philadelphia for Game 3.

For what it’s worth, Embiid remains very confident in his team’s ability to pull out the series despite facing a 2-0 deficit.

“We’re good,” Embiid told reporters on Monday, according to Bontemps. “We’re going to win this series. “We are going to win this. We know what we got to fix. We did a better job today, so we are going to fix it. We are the better team. We are going to keep fighting.”

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