Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins blames referees and officials – NBC Chicago

Although the 2022 NBA playoffs were incredibly entertaining, there was one common downfall: refereeing.

Complaints about NBA spectrum umpires reached a new boiling point on Saturday when Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins blasted umpires during his postgame conference following the 119- 118 on his team against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“We could have played better, but in my opinion one of the worst officiated games I’ve ever seen in my NBA career,” Jenkins said. “…Yeah, some things we need to clean up and improve, but I’ve never seen a more inconsistent and arrogant officiating game.”

Jenkins pointed out that his starting five already had serious foul issues in the first quarter. Minnesota attempted 40 total free throws on the night against Memphis’ 25, and 18 of them came in the first quarter.

Jenkins also mentioned the foul differential between the two teams. Memphis was called for 33 fouls on the night to Minnesota’s 23. The third-year head coach knows what to expect after his comments aired.

“I’ll take any hits that come my way,” Jenkins said ahead of a likely NBA fine. “I have to protect our guys.”

Jenkins isn’t the only member of the NBA spectrum to complain about officiating. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid gave the referees a sarcastic slap after Game 4 against the Toronto Raptors in a series that has become mired in foul woes.

The increase in complaints parallels a dramatic increase in the free throw rate statistic. According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, the free throw rate from the 2022 regular season to the playoffs is up 21%. And that number was before Saturday’s games. The second highest increase was 16.3% during the 2010 season.

If that percentage doesn’t drop soon, comments like Jenkins’s could become more routine.