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Referees eject Jokic, Malone before halftime of Nuggets game at Pistons

November 21st, 2023

Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons

The Denver Nuggets were frustrated with the officiating Sunday night in a loss in Cleveland, and that seemed to carry over to the start of the game Monday night against Detroit.

Michael Malone was on the referees from the opening tip — the Nuggets have the lowest FG/FTA rate in the league and have the third-fewest free throw attempts per game (18.3), and Malone says that’s not about his team — and before the first quarter ended he erupted at the referees and they sent him back to the locker room to watch Monday Night Football.

Earlier in the game Jokic yelled “Wake up” at the referees, so when he complained about a no-call in the post just before the half, he got tossed with a very soft second technical.

What Jokic did was not worthy of an ejection. Full stop. Players have done far, far more and not gotten even a technical.

Officials have felt quick-triggered and seemingly even more thin-skinned this season. I get it, being an NBA referee is incredibly difficult, and part of that challenge is everyone is always complaining trying to gain an advantage, or just frustrated. It sucks. Also… IT’S THE JOB. This isn’t new.

Vincent Goodwill wrote a fantastic piece last week at Yahoo Sports, after quick-trigger taunting technicals for Draymond Green and Giannis Antetokounmpo, with NBA head of referee development and training Monty McCutchen saying this about the calls.

“What we do know historically, is that taunting gone unchecked leads to altercations. It leads to an increase in physicality. It leads to more, to put it kindly, passionate play. Finding the right balance of what is and isn’t a good technical foul and taunting is something that will continue to calibrate with the competition committee.”

We want passionate play. A little more physicality wouldn’t hurt, but let the players show their emotion. Let them be fired up. That will mean a little taunting and some frustration with the officiating and that’s part of the trade-off for better play. More impassioned play. More compelling play. And, frankly, a better product to sell.

Nobody wants to see stars get soft ejections.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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