Brooklyn Nets: 3 takeaways from tough 2OT loss at Portland

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Meyers Leonard (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

3. Officials lost control of the game late

The game Monday night between the Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trail Blazers got more and more physical as it progressed and the officiating crew of Josh Tiven, Tyler Ford and Ray Acosta struggled to respond to the increasing banging of bodies as the game wore on.

About a minute before Jusuf Nurkic had to be removed from the court on a stretcher, play had been halted for a video review of a play involving Nurkic and DeMarre Carroll of the Nets.

Nurkic had pounded the ball inside, with Jared Dudley being knocked to the floor in the process. Play continued, with Nurkic missing a shot and Carroll ending up being called for a loose-ball foul after elbowing Nurkic in the face.

There could have been a foul called much earlier, when Dudley went down in traffic. Either Dudley fouled Nurkic or Nurkic fouled Dudley, but in any event, having everyone jumping around when there is a player down in the paint is dangerous.

No one was injured on the scramble between Nurkic and Carroll, but Nurkic went down about a minute later after he was fouled fighting with Dudley for a rebound.

Dudley came in hard and bumped Nurkic, who landed on his left leg, which gave way after the landing.

After the injury, Ford nearly tripped over Nurkic’s injured leg, which shows a remarkable lack of awareness on the part of a professional official.

I’m not one to quickly pull the trigger on criticizing NBA officials. They have a ton of things they have to look at, all happening at blinding speed by gigantic men. It’s not an easy gig and, despite public sentiment, they get it right far more often than they don’t.

But late in the fourth quarter, the tenor of the game changed. Play got noticeably more physical and as it did, the whistles became less frequent than they had been earlier in the night.

That is a volatile combination that will often lead to games getting out of control, like Monday’s game did.

It didn’t get out of control through dirty play, but rather through increasingly physical play that was not checked by the officials making enough calls to send the message that things needed to tone down a notch or two.

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Instead, things escalated, bodies kept flying and eventually someone got hurt. The loose officiating that allowed play to get out of control contributed to that.