2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Officiating in Nuggets Game 1… fair or foul?

Published: April 21, 2013, 1:33 am, by Paul Klee

This is the gray area, the part of the game we are not supposed to write about.

But officiating is a wildly important factor in the NBA playoffs — so why pretend we can’t analyze it?

As I type in the media room at Pepsi Center, an hour after the Nuggets escaped the Warriors 97-95, I can imagine the post-game buzz from Game. There will be two topics of interest on Monday’s airwaves: Andre Miller and the officiating.

I don’t think the Nuggets got a raw deal. I think both teams got a raw deal. This wasn’t NCAA tournament-bad, but it was shaky.

The baseline non-call on what would have been Steph Curry’s third foul. Klay Thompson getting slammed in the paint. The goal-tend whistle on Javale McGee.

“That’s something they’re not used to seeing (a 7-footer leaping that high),” McGee reasoned after the game.

On Wednesday here at Pepsi Center, I wondered aloud, to George Karl, on how this series would be officiated. The Nuggets don’t have a superstar, a topic that’s been dissected for the better part of six months. An overlooked byproduct of having a star-less roster is how the Nuggets would be treated in the playoffs. Marquee players get calls. The Nuggets don’t have that marquee guy.

So I asked Karl if he feels the Nuggets have gotten a fair whistle this season.

“I don’t think any coach thinks his team gets a fair whistle,” Karl said, diplomatically.

Either way, it’s something to watch as the Nuggets move forward in these playoffs. Not that fans would ignore the officiating, anyway.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette