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Report: 76ers Disadvantaged by 'Significant' Gap in Ref Errors in Game 6 vs. Celtics

Joseph Zucker

The Philadelphia 76ers were the victims of 13 officiating errors from their Game 6 defeat to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski added the NBA's official game report documented four calls that went against the Celtics, which constituted a "significant disparity."

Boston ultimately committed 14 fouls to 13 for Philadelphia across the full 48 minutes. The Sixers also attempted three more free throws (19) than the Celtics.

Coaches and players complaining about foul calls is nothing new in the playoffs. Plenty of fans are willing to believe their favorite team is the victim of a vast conspiracy involving the NBA office as well.

Referencing the report Wojnarowski cited, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said the gap in missed calls was "disappointing" and "hard to recover from."

Missed calls happen, though. No referee in any sport has a 100 percent success rate.

Zeroing in on the 13 errors also belies how much those mistakes impacted the game, and the difference between the two teams may not have been a truly meaningful discrepancy.

At the end of the day, the refs weren't to blame for the Sixers shooting 5-of-20 from the field and 0-of-8 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter of Game 6. James Harden missed all four of shots and had zero points in the final frame.

Philadelphia came out flat, quickly falling into a 15-3 hole, and couldn't finish the job when it turned the tables and had Boston on the ropes in the second half.

This isn't the first time a franchise run by Daryl Morey has furthered the perception it was fatally undermined by the referees.

ESPN's Zach Lowe and Rachel Nichols reported in April 2019 the Houston Rockets wrote a report of "81 potential missed calls and non-calls" in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. The Rockets were of the opinion the supposedly poor officiating "cost them an NBA championship."

In this case, it appears the Sixers are already hard at work setting their narrative.


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