Two days removed from an overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego was still steaming Sunday about missed calls Friday night.
The NBA admitting an obvious travel by 76ers center Joel Embiid was not called only added to Borrego’s frustration in comments before Sunday’s road game against the Detroit Pistons.
“It’s tough. I had to read that thing last night, and it was like I had to live it all over again,” Borrego said of the NBA’s report, which acknowledged Embiid traveled with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter before making a 3-pointer that tied the game. The 76ers went on to win in overtime 133-132.
“It does nothing” making peace with the error, Borrego said of the NBA’s policy of publicly acknowledging late-game mistakes in close games.
The NBA’s report said “Embiid switches pivot feet during (his) face-up move on the perimeter,” but that the travel was not called.
The Hornets were also frustrated by the free-throw situation in the fourth quarter. Embiid got to the foul line 12 times in the fourth quarter, compared to all the Hornets receiving 11 free throws that quarter.
“I would hope our guys use it as fuel tonight (Sunday). I want them to use it as fuel to go and play with another (level) of edge,” Borrego said about 1 1/2 hours before tip-off against the Pistons.
“It’s frustrating, it’s frustrating – especially in the last two minutes (of regulation) – the biggest plays and the biggest moments of an NBA game – to have those types of errors and the NBA acknowledged it.”
Answering a followup question from the Observer, Borrego said he understands the NBA is striving for transparency with these reports acknowledging mistakes, but it is of little consolation to those with the most at stake.
“I’m not sure what it does for us as a team or (for) coaches,” Borrego said. “They acknowledge it. They move on and we move on. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes with those officials, That’s up to the NBA to do what they do.
“I saw what I saw in live time. I expressed those opinions to the officials at the time. I watched it, they acknowledged it. It is what it is.”