Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals went the way of the Golden State Warriors as they used a third-quarter surge to pull away from the Boston Celtics and win the game 107-88. The Finals are now tied at one game apiece, but things could have turned out quite differently if the officials at the game had made a certain call towards the end of the first half.
With just under a minute remaining, Draymond Green fouled Jaylen Brown, who was attempting a three-pointer and, as the two men fell to the floor, they got tangled up a bit. An altercation ensued between the two and the Warriors forward was lucky to not have been assessed with a technical foul for the incident. He had already gotten one in the first quarter and another here would have led to an ejection. The ESPN telecast has former referee Steve Javie as part of the crew and Javie immediately after the incident stated he wouldn't give Green another tech here and he explained why.
Steve Javie: "Jeff, yeah I think you hit the nail on the head and Mark Jackson you hit the nail on the head where you have to consider one player has definitely a technical foul, is this enough to call a double T and eject the one player. Personally, I would say nothing and I would just let it just defuse as that – that’s just my opinion."
Mark Jackson: "Well Steve my question to you is. As a referee over there in the huddle are you thinking about the fact that Draymond has one technical already?"
Steve Javie: "Absolutely. I think that's part of good officiating - is the fact that you have to know who has the technical foul and in this situation one of the players does. Is this enough to warrant an ejection? Its what you have to think about."
It is what we have always believed to be the case, but it's probably the first time someone associated with the referees has come out and said it. It divides opinions among everyone, as there are two ways to look at it. First, you don't want the refs to just follow the rule book like robots because every situation is different, but at the same time, if someone commits an offense, then they should be penalized for it. The fact that it would lead to an ejection shouldn't factor into the equation.
Whatever the case, Draymond got off without being penalized and he played a key role in the third quarter as the Warriors took control of the game. We'll never know for sure what would have happened if he was kicked out at that point, but it would definitely have had some impact.