During Monday night’s game between the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons, both teams expressed frustration with officiating. This was particularly true for the Nuggets, who had just lost in Cleveland the previous night and were already vocal about their low free throw rate.
Coach Michael Malone was particularly vocal about his frustrations, getting ejected before the first quarter ended. Nikola Jokic also expressed his frustration, yelling at the referees and getting ejected with a very light second technical.
The questionable nature of their ejections has brought attention to the quick-trigger and thin-skinned nature of NBA refereeing this season. Some argue 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 to maintain a level of authority in games, others believe that allowing players to show their emotions leads to more passionate and compelling play. This can be seen as a trade-off for better overall play and a better product for audiences. The ejections of important players can detract from the entertainment value of the game, but it ultimately comes down to finding a balance that works best for everyone involved.