The Houston Rockets made a big stink about the officiating following their Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors, which makes it even more noteworthy that veteran referee, Scott Foster, will be a member of the Game 2 officiating crew. NBA fans will surely remember the Rockets made their opinion of Foster quite clear earlier this season.
After a February loss to the Los Angeles Clippers both James Harden and Chris Paul were vocal about how much they dislike Foster, with Harden telling reporters, “I don’t think he should be able to even officiate our games anymore, honestly.” Harden was ultimately fined $25,000 for his remarks.
It’s worth noting that the league determines referee assignments in the playoffs for the first four games of every series before the series ever starts, so it’s not like the NBA specifically selected Foster in response to Game 1.
That said, given the narrative heading into Game 2 – Foster’s presence on the court is significant.
The league’s two-minute report from Sunday’s Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors Game 1 showed that there were three incorrect calls down the stretch, all of which benefitted Golden State. However, the league determined that officials were correct in not calling a foul against Draymond Green when Harden took the potential game-tying three pointer.
In wake of the Game 1 drama, The Athletic’s Sam Amick revealed that the Rockets truly believe officials have been favoring the Warriors for years, and the team has actually been “making a date-driven case” to support their claims. Houston maintains that refs missed a total of 81 calls during Game 7 of last year’s Western Conference Finals.
Game 2 at Oracle Arena is scheduled to tipoff at 10:30pm ET, airing on TNT.