Report: Rockets Have “Data-Driven Case” Warriors Favored by Refs

The Rockets think at least eight attempted 3-pointers should've been called fouls

James Harden complains over a foul call. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
James Harden complains over a foul call. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Getty Images

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If you’ve ever watched the fourth quarter of a close NBA playoff game, you’ve watched players complain to officials about fouls calls.

James Harden and many of his Houston Rockets teammates did just that yesterday in the midst of their 104-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors yesterday — and they had good reason to.

Or at least that’s what the Rockets think as the organization is building a “data-driven case” the Warriors have been favored by NBA referees for some time, according to The Athletic.

The Rockets believe there were at least eight attempted 3-pointers that should have been called as “landing spot” fouls on Sunday. Had even half of them been called, Houston would have won the game comfortably. But the they weren’t.

To make things even worse, Harden and head coach Mike D’Antoni both claim officials told them at halftime they missed foul calls on four Rockets 3-pointers.

Perhaps they will be going forward as  Houston, one of the most data-driven organizations in all of sports, has been collecting play-by-play officiating reports for their games against the Warriors and breaking down the blown calls against them.

In particular, the team has focused on the seven games in the 2018 Western Conference Finals between the two teams.

“The Rockets, according to the sources, had a double-digit point deficit in six of the seven games (and a small edge in Game 2),” according to The Athletic. “In all, sources say, they were harmed to the tune of 93 points. Game Seven was the worst, the research showed, with the league-issued report indicating that they should have had 18 more points. More specifically, two of the 27 consecutive missed three-pointers that did them in were ruled to have been missed foul calls.”

Going into Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night, this will be an intriguing story to keep an eye on as it’s almost a sure bet those perceived “landing spot” fouls will be called differently.

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