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Fresh off the first conference finals victory in Toronto’s franchise history, Raptors coach Dwane Casey seized the moment and lobbied aggressively for better treatment from the officials. It cost him a $25,000 fine from the league office, though.
With the Raptors still trailing the Cavaliers 2–1 and Game 4 set for the Air Canada Centre on Monday, Casey repeatedly called for fair treatment from the officials while also pointing to specific calls he felt were handled improperly.
On seven separate occasions during a postgame press conference in which he handled 14 questions, Casey called for “consistency” from the officials.
“The consistency of the game calls, I’ve been on both sides of it,” Casey said. “I’ve been where the whistle has been in favor of you. But for whatever reason, I understand we have great officials, it’s a hard game to call, but some of those fouls are unbelievable.”
The frequency of Casey’s comments, coming on the heels of a hotly contested 99–84 Game 3 win that saw a total of four technical fouls and a flagrant foul, made it clear that he was trying to send a message.
He vented frustrations over the the foul disparity between the two teams in the series, the referees’ treatment of center Bismack Biyombo and an offensive foul call on guard Kyle Lowry, while also questioning whether the two teams were being officiated in the same manner on three separate occasions.
Here’s a full rundown of Casey’s comments about the officiating.
On the foul disparity: “We shoot zero free throws in the fourth quarter, zero. I mean, [the foul disparity] is 73–46 [for the Cavaliers] in the entire three games.”
On the treatment of Biyombo: “He’s getting fouled so much. He’s not getting the calls. … He’s getting hit. There’s one play where they almost have a brawl. He gets killed on that play. ... I don’t know if he’s getting hit because of how physical and tough he is, but he’s getting cracked. To his credit, I thought he was going to lose his head when he got the technical foul, but he kept playing.”
More on Biyombo: “He’s one of the top rebounders in the league, and no telling how many times he gets hit and fouled under there without being called. Again, I’m going to say this: I think he gets hit almost on every rebound and putback there is, and he just doesn’t get the calls, whether he’s rolling to the bucket, and we’ve just got to have consistency with that.”
On Lowry’s early offensive foul: “Kyle’s first charge, I’ve got to look at that again, too, because I thought the first foul—they called a block—and I thought it was clearly a charge.”
On a double standard: “I’ve got to go back and watch it, but there’s got to be some consistency. I said it before the game, we have the greatest officials in the league. But how you can miss fouls like that and calls like that, I can’t see it. I’ve been in this league a long time, in college basketball a long time, but again, there’s got to be consistency. The same foul on one end has got to be the same foul on the other.”
On a first-half skirmish that saw LeBron James elbowed by his own teammate: “[Tristan] Thompson was the one who hit LeBron, and then we were going to get about three or four technicals in that one play. So as long as it’s physical play, not a hard foul—I mean, not a flagrant, trying to hurt somebody—the game is going to be physical. They were playing physical, and we’re playing physical. Again, just be consistent with the calls. Just be consistent both ways is all we ask for. That's all you can ask for is be consistent on the calls. The same call on one end has got to be the same call on the other end.”