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Does Doc Rivers bitch too much about officiating?


ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg points out that Doc Rivers leads coaches in technical fouls:

After picking up his eighth technical foul of the season Thursday night in Milwaukee, Doc Rivers not only topped the list of coaches' technicals, but owned a two-tech cushion on the rest of the field (heck, only seven other coaches have four or more technicals this season). 

Rivers has already paid $20,000 for those infractions, but it hasn't detoured his approach. 

"Last year I was on the bottom of the list, so I wanted to reach a goal this year and be on top of the list," quipped Rivers. "I don’t know. I’ve gotten some that I’ve earned …" 

His voice trailed off slightly, allowing another question to arrive (and maybe save him from donating even more money to the league office). Asked if he felt like he was more vociferous in his complaints this season, Rivers swore he hasn't modified his technique. 

"I just think they are quicker this year," said Rivers. "I don’t think I’ve changed at all. I just think the way they’ve been called has changed, for sure. They are quick with them. I mean, the one [Thursday] night [in Milwaukee after a non-call on Brandon Bass] … I said, ‘I thought he got fouled.’ That was about it." 

While researching some Enemy Chatter content a few weeks back, I came across a comment about the frequency of Doc's sideline complaints with foul calls. Until that moment, I hadn't put much thought into his treatment of officials. But after paying closer attention the past few weeks, there is some truth to it.

Rivers says he hasn't changed. If that's true, I have a theory:

NBA officials react on reputation. Star players get the benefit of the doubt, as do elite teams. The Celtics reputation is one of an aging team. Benefit of the doubt calls are getting fewer and fewer. Maybe this is why Doc is worker them harder and getting more techs.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)