Referees call out Chris Webber for incorrect observation during Lakers-Rockets game
There is a narrative around James Harden that he often times tries to draw fouls rather than going for a score. This can be true at times, however, every single clip where Harden creates contact and gets a foul drawn on him isn’t unjustified.
This was true last night when Kyle Kuzma was guarding James Harden on the perimeter and was called for a personal foul and a flagrant one for creating contact with his knee and tripping up Harden and stopping his momentum. At first glance, it doesn’t seem to be a foul. However, this Friday afternoon the NBA refs twitter account shared why it was called that way.
Why is it hard to educate fans about the rules? Here's what we're up against. From last night's game, @RealChrisWebber was incorrect here. This is a foul, as the defender makes illegal contact with his knee to the thigh of the offensive player, causing him to fall to the floor. pic.twitter.com/p0xweU8UD8
— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) December 14, 2018
It’s not even Chris Webber’s fault for seeing that and being a bit frustrated. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing style of basketball to watch James Harden draw fouls and hit free throws 12+ times a night. However, that doesn’t justify getting upset over what is a textbook call for any NBA official.
Ironically and amusingly, Kyle Kuzma after last night’s game quote tweeted the NBA Official Ref’s tweet saying this:
Can we get fined if we tweet back at this account? https://t.co/dtJlwQTfXZ
— kuz (@kylekuzma) December 14, 2018
What many people don’t realize is that continuing the growing frustration over Harden’s ability to draw fouls isn’t going to make things any better for the players. Frustration leads to more mistakes being made. Kuzma is just now learning how to expend his effort equally on the defensive side, which means more effort but also allows for mistakes and foul calls.
The Houston Rockets have performed pretty badly this season and not to the level of their talent. Houston, who pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, is now 12-14 on the season (14th in the Western Conference standings).
This hasn’t stopped Harden from dominating offensively, of course, as the reigning NBA MVP was averaging 30.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.1 assists with a true shooting percentage of 61.2 entering Thursday’s game against the Lakers.