The Warriors were not happy about Jordan Poole getting called for three carrying violations in Tuesday’s loss to the Miami Heat, and neither was Poole.
Though Poole did not speak after the game, he did take to social media to post a clip of Allen Iverson being called for a phantom carry, with the caption “The refs in Miami tonight 🙃 SMH”.
The infraction, commonly known as carrying or palming the ball, resulted in three of Poole’s five turnovers in a forgettable game for the guard. Poole finished with nine points in 30 minutes and posted a team-worst -30 plus/minus.
The officials’ emphasis on discontinued dribbling clearly affected Poole’s game. And the Warriors didn’t see it coming.
“I guess there was an email that went out today,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “Honestly I didn’t check my email. Like, you know, we’ve got a game today. I’m not looking at email. I was shocked because basically the whole league does that. They’ve been doing it ever since Allen Iverson convinced the referees that it isn’t a carry. It is a carry. What Jordan does is a carry. But the whole league has been doing it. So, I guess I’ve got to start checking my email on game day.”
Referees make bad calls; it’s part of the game. Even during the loss, the Warriors were hurt by a late foul call on Jimmy Butler that got overturned which would have given Stephen Curry three free throws.
But this is different. This is a rule everyone knows, but doesn’t play by because it’s rarely enforced.
“Be consistent,” Stephen Curry said postgame. “Let us know how you’re going to call it and that should be the standard every night so we can make adjustments. That’s how the league works year-to-year. Whatever the point of emphasis is and how the game evolves, it’s only right that if you’re going to call it, be consistent. We’ll make adjustments and everybody will keep moving. That’s on them and it’s on us to find that middle ground.”
The shifty Poole is a special case, though. At least he was treated as such Tuesday.
“Just seems like there was going to be a little bit of an example made tonight, especially certain calls just out in the open that didn’t really impact the game that much,” Curry said. “I do get that there are some that are pretty blatant, they’re going to call it. But like I said, just be consistent and everybody will be happy.”
All three of the calls on Poole, by the letter of the law, were correct. According to the NBA, “dribblers may not have any part of their hand under the ball, bring their dribble to a pause, and then continue on with their dribble.”
In the fourth quarter, Poole committed his third palming of the game and visibly reacted with frustration. But he definitely took an extra step between dribbles while coming off a ball screen.