The Pistons have lost seven of their past eight and are quickly taking themselves out of playoff range with each loss. That frustration might be why Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy lit into the referees following their latest loss.
Van Gundy took the common coach rant to a whole 'nother level Saturday night. He didn't outright blame them for Detroit's loss, but he strongly implied they were a factor in why the Trail Blazers won, via The Detroit News:
"They held and grabbed on every play and they got away with fouls all over the place. We got absolutely screwed all night," Van Gundy said. "Luke (Kennard) makes a back-cut to the basket on an out-of-bounds play and gets knocked down and they end up with two points at the other end.
... "(Officials say) 'If I saw it, I would have called it' — well, you know what? Your damn job is to see it," Van Gundy said. "Referees, I love that. That's an excuse: 'I didn't see it.'
"Why the hell do we have you out there? (Kennard) is the guy cutting — that's where the ball is being passed. It's not happening on the weak side of the floor. It's embarrassing for them and for the league that they're not going to make that call."
... "Our guys were fighting hard and playing hard. I've gotten on them at times, but they played really hard and fought really hard. Portland played hard, too, but it's a lot easier to play hard when you can get away with everything they got away with."
His comments are likely going to get him a fine from the league, but he doesn't seem too concerned about that.
Van Gundy's words represent a theme that has been pretty consistent with this season. Nobody seems to be happy with the refereeing this year. Players have been complaining about them all season to the point where a summit was heldto try and lower tensions between the two sides.
Some of this tension with refs has even spilled over to off the court. The NBA's referee union got into a Twitter spat with the NBA office itself that are publicly released every game. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban responded to it saying the NBA should fine the refs.
Nobody is ever really happy with the refs, but there usually has to be a level of respect between them and everybody else for the NBA to function at its best. However, that respect seems to be dwindling from everybody with so many public incidents this season. This could definitely be a discussion that continues into the offseason.