Skip to main content

The complaining has gotten out of hand.

At this point, every loss in this series has led to complaints about the officials. When the Toronto Raptors lose, it's Joel Embiid who's either not getting called for enough fouls against him or is drawing too many fouls. When the Philadelphia 76ers lose, as they did Saturday evening, it's the Raptors who are supposedly benefited from the referees. 

"I don't care if you're 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, if you beat him to the spot and he runs over, it's a foul. I thought he threw three or four elbows to the face, he got called for one. OK. I mean, we're gonna stand in there. We just need, if we’re legal defensively, then we’ve got to have ‘em called or we don't have a chance, period," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said following a Game 1 loss.

When the 76ers benefited from an 18 free throw advantage over the Raptors in Game 2, Nurse and Embiid exchanged some heated words with one another in the fourth quarter.

"I told him, respectfully, I told him to stop bitching about calls," Embiid said following Game 2.

Then, in Game 4, everything flipped. Toronto played with more physicality and got to the free-throw line 35 times, 10 more than the 76ers, leading Embiid to voice his displeasure with the officials. As he walked off the court following the loss to the Raptors, he clapped for the referees as if to insinuate they'd thrown the game to help Toronto stave off elimination in an 0-3 hole.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"Well, I'm gonna take my own advice and not complain about fouls," Embiid said before going back on his word. "They did a great job. I admire the job that they did today. To me, it felt like they one job, you know, coming in here tonight. And they got it done. So, congrats to them."

76ers coach Doc Rivers took a slightly different approach.

"They deserved to win the game tonight. I'm not going to sit here and complain. I'm not going to (do) what they do," he said. "We got beat tonight."

That's the truth. The 76ers got beat because the Raptors were the better team on Saturday night and, conversely, through the first three games of the series, Philadelphia won because Embiid was unstoppable and the 76ers were the better team.

The officiating simply comes down to physicality and positioning. The team that takes it to the rim and gets to its spots with more aggression is usually going to get the benefit of the doubt from the officials.

Further Reading

Raptors discuss what makes Scottie Barnes special & reactions to his Rookie of the Year award

Raptors season proved a success as Scottie Barnes wins rookie honors and Toronto staves off elimination

Nick Nurse discusses defending the inbounds pass & regrets from Game 3