The officiating in the NBA has been coming under immense criticism over the last few years. This season, it seems the errors have been non-stop and affecting the games. While one would hope that the Finals could be free of bad officiating, Game 2 between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors proved that bad officiating is going to be a factor here.
During the game, Gary Payton II was fouled by Jaylen Brown under the basket, which led to the Warriors getting free throws. However, a replay showed that Brown did his best to minimize contact and barely touched GPII.
Fans were not happy about such a soft call being given in favor of the home team in a high-stakes NBA Finals game. The result was a little moot by the end of the game due to the score difference, but this call has been mocked endlessly by fans on Twitter.
Technically speaking, the foul was fair considering Brown's leg made glancing contact with GPII's leg. But it seems like a very irrelevant foul to call considering the other team is directly going to benefit from that by making free throws. We see contact like that and more than that not get a whistle, so it was bizarre to see the refs give that call.
Finals basketball is naturally a little more aggressive, so players should be given the space to make occasional contact. The referees didn't penalize Draymond Green for yelling in their faces after he got a technical, so refs can let things go if they choose to.
Hopefully, the officiating is better and more consistent when the series ends up in Boston and the referees do not get swayed by how local fans are reacting to play about their team. Focus on the game and maybe they can see contact on the floor for what it is.