Though the Cavaliers managed to escape Atlanta with a one-point win, the dust has yet to settle with Mike Brown and the league. When the game came back from commercial break after the end of the third quarter, cameras focused on Brown as he was dealing with the officials and the scorers table.
Brown, he of the $25,000 fine after slamming Joey Crawford, has been in the officials’ ear a lot more this season. The Hawks took a considerable amount of free throws through the first three quarters, but it wasn’t the actual calls that drew the ire of the Cavaliers’ head coach.
Brown dressed down the official scorer in between the third and fourth quarters after there was a snafu with the fouls.
The Cavs were told West had four personal fouls with three minutes left in the third quarter and took him out of the game.
Officials reviewed it and decided he only had three. But the Cavs weren’t told until the quarter break.
“I was upset because it was a mistake that they made,” Brown said. “The only thing they can say is, ‘Sorry.’ I think I had a right to be upset.”
When you have a team in the thick of a four-games-in-five-nights stint on the road, you can ill afford to have things like this happen to you. When West finally returned, he looked like he was throwing screwballs from the corner – airballing two straight three-point attempts a la Peja circa 2002.
“We have to file a formal complaint about it,” Brown said. “Something like that could have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.
“This is my livelihood and the players’ livelihood. We take this serious. This was tough to swallow.”
Thankfully, the Cavaliers did win the game and it was not one of those issues that happened with the exact same crew in the past. Recall the infamous game that had to be replayed between the Hawks and Heat that had to be replayed after Shaquille O’Neal had fouled out – despite only having five fouls? Yep, it was the exact same crew that was officiating last night’s festivities. Granted, you only hear about these sorts of things when officials do something wrong, but this is bound to raise a few eyebrows.
Stay tuned to see if Mike Brown follows through with the formal complaint. He’s always been one to do things to ensure his team that he has their back. This would undoubtedly fall in the same line.
Cavs dig one out [Bob Finnan/News Herald]