Golden State Warriors fans are already complaining about Monday night’s Game 4 referees, hours before the game has even started, as the Dubs hope to even the series again on the Lakers’ home court.
There was understandable grumbling about the referees after your Golden State Warriors got blown out 127-97 Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving them down 2-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals. After all, it seemed awfully suspicious to Warriors fans that the Lakers were awarded 37 free throws Saturday night, while the Warriors only got 17. Same fishy circumstances in the Game 1 loss, where the foul-shot ratio was very lopsided 29-6 in favor of the Lakers. Come on refs, it’s not like any of the Warriors shoved a team owner or anything!
And with the enormous officiating discrepancy giving Warriors fans flashbacks of “The Fix Is In” days of the 2016 NBA Finals against this very same LeBron James character, we learn that Scott Foster will be the crew chief for Monday night’s Game 4, where the Warriors will try to tie the series again.
Warriors-Lakers Game 4 officials:— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 8, 2023
Scott Foster, Kevin Scott, Curtis Blair
Foster actually figures into that 2016 Warriors Finals disaster. Recall that Foster ejected both Steph Curry and then-Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston from that game, the same game where Curry infamously whacked his mouth guard into the stands.
The above statement is true that Foster’s Wikipedia profile says that he is “nicknamed ‘The Extender’ for his perceived habit of making bad calls on purpose in order to extend NBA playoffs series.” There is no proof to this, but there’s a general fan consensus on that the NBA would prefer this series go a full seven games for rating purposes. And remember, the NBA is a league that saw a referee do prison time for fixing games, so the conspiracy theories are not unprecedented.
What’s probably more important that whoever officiates this game is whatever adjustments Steve Kerr and the Warriors make. To fans, that seems more a matter whether Monday night’s fifth starter will be Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, or JaMychal Green. But Draymond Green argues in his podcast clip above that “The Number One adjustment that is always made in an NBA game, and you can see that in [the Lakers’] game, is playing with force.” He added that “outside of any X and O, outside of switching Jarred Vanderbilt and Austin Reaves, or A.D. moving up on the pick-and-roll, the number one adjustment that any team will always make is the amount of force that they play with.”
In a series that feels like we’re trading blowouts, Green’s assessment may be correct.
this dog is now 3-0 in the Lakers vs Warriors series pic.twitter.com/buosmtUA9u— ryan 🤿 (@scubaryan_) May 7, 2023
Game 4 is Monday night at 7 p.m. PT, being played in the Lakers’ stupid crypto-named arena. And if it's any consolation, the viral, basketball shooting dog above has predicted this series correctly thus far, and has the Warriors winning in seven games (though the dog’s predictions have them losing tonight).
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors argues with Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter in game two of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Chase Center on May 04, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)