Basketball

Draymond Green defends referees after James Harden's criticisms

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green says referees are human and that James Harden should look in the mirror before the criticising the playoff officiating.

Green said: "I have been fouled by James on a James' three-pointer before.

"We can all sit here and complain about calls every game."

Green said when it comes to close contests, both teams can usually make the case that they got a raw deal at some time from the officials.

He added: "It is the nature of the game we play. Refereeing isn't an exact science."

Harden, who has been a vocal critic of the officiating all season, asked for a "fair chance" from the refs after Houston lost 104-100 in game one of the West semi-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Harden and the Rockets were specifically upset about what they believed were several non-calls on his three-point attempts.

"Call the game how it's supposed to be called, and that's it. And I'll live with the results," said Harden, who scored 35 points but was four-of-16 from beyond the arc.

He figured he got fouled on a pair of three-point attempts in the second half, including by Green on a potential game-tying attempt with seven seconds left.

Green said the Warriors could make the same case."They (Rockets) also could have possibly shot 20 less free-throws. But if that is the case, then we could have shot 20 more free-throws," Green said.

Houston coach Mike D'Antoni backed up Harden's criticism on Sunday but did not go into detail because he feared a slap on the wrist.

Referring to a potential fine for criticising officiating, D'Antoni said: "I'm going to try to be a nice guy because I really don't want to give the charity to them. I'd rather have my charity have the money."

Second-guessing the referees has been a hot topic among the players ever since the NBA introduced the "Last Two Minute Report" where they publicly evaluate the performance of their officials in games within five points in the final two minutes. The league initiated the report to try and be more transparent. - AFP

Basketball