The Denver Nuggets expressed their frustration with officiating during Monday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons. This came after a loss in Cleveland the previous night, where coach Michael Malone had already been vocal about the officiating due to the team’s low free throw rate. During the game, Malone was on the referees from the beginning and was ejected before the first quarter ended. Before leaving the court, Nikola Jokic also expressed his frustration and was ejected with a very light second technical.
The ejections of both Malone and Jokic were questioned as they were expressing frustration that is common among players and coaches in the NBA. This has brought attention to the quick-trigger and thin-skinned nature of NBA refereeing this season, with some suggesting that a balance needs to be struck between maintaining control of the game and allowing for passionate play and expression of emotion from players.
While there is a need for officials to maintain authority in games, others argue that allowing players to show their emotions leads to more passionate and compelling play. It is seen as a trade-off for better overall play and a better product for audiences. The ejections of important players can be detrimental to both teams, as well as those watching at home or in person.