HOUSTON – Come on, ref! What are the odds?
Rockets' officiating nemesis Scott Foster will be the crew chief for Tuesday night's Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors.
The Rockets were very vocal publicly about their disdain for Foster and the manner in which he deals with players following a February game against the Lakers in which James Harden fouled out. The Rockets lost 111-106.
"Scott Foster, man. I never really talk about officiating or anything like that, but just rude and arrogant," said Harden. "I mean, you aren't able to talk to him throughout the course of the game, and it's like, how do you build that relationship with officials? And it's not even that call [on the sixth foul]. It's just who he is on that floor."
"It's pretty frustrating. And I'm probably going to get hit [with a fine], but honestly, I don't really say anything. I'm a pretty quiet guy, to myself, but it's one of those things where you can't voice your opinion. You can't have a conversation with someone that's officiating the game. You're getting a tech. It's pretty sad," Harden said.
Harden was fined $25,000 after that game for publicly criticizing an official.
The announcement also comes in the wake of a tense game Game 1 in which the Rockets said they didn't get the foul calls they deserved.
"I just want a fair chance, man," Harden said. "Call the game how it's supposed to be called and that's it. And I'll live with the results."
Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said the refs even admitted making the botched calls to him.
"The response was just, that they missed it," D'Antoni said. "That's what they told me. They missed four of them so that's 12 foul shots."
With the game on the line in the last 20 seconds, the Rockets argued that Harden was fouled on a 3-point attempt, but there was no whistle.
Chris Paul was called for a technical foul in the waning seconds of Game 1. He was fined $35,000.
Clearly the officiating was in their heads during Game 1 and remaining that way throughout the entire organization since then. That has to change for Game 2, even with Foster as the crew chief.
TONIGHT— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) April 30, 2019
WEST SEMIFINALS – GAME 2
⏰ 1030 PM ET
🏀 @HoustonRockets at @warriors
🏀 #48 Foster, #14 Malloy, #42 Lewis Alt. #71 Mott
📺 @NBAonTNT#NBAPlayoffs #NBAReferees #HOUatGSW #Rockets #DubNation pic.twitter.com/RjqfwQ7RRY
According to the NBA referees, "The NBA assigns referee crews for the first four games of every playoff series - the guaranteed games - before each round begins. As each series continues, assignments are added as soon as it becomes clear there will be further games."
The NBA assigns referee crews for the first four games of every playoff series - the guaranteed games - before each round begins. As each series continues, assignments are added as soon as it becomes clear there will be further games. https://t.co/KIIZtnMfFa— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) April 30, 2019
That means Foster was assigned to be Game 2 crew chief before the series started.
On a side note, there's even a petition to keep Foster from officiating any more Rockets games. Click here to read it.
Tipoff is 9:30 p.m. Houston time.