76ers Coach Nick Nurse Insists The Refs Ignored His Timeout Calls Twice In Dramatic Sequence Of Loss To Knicks

Sixers Knicks

If you’re reading this and you’ve seen a wilder scene in the first round of the NBA playoffs in your life, I want to be reminded of what it was. Because I think the way the Philadelphia 76ers collapsed in Monday’s crushing loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden is right up there with any closing sequence in terms of drama, crowd raucousness, and general atmosphere.

Nothing quite like New York, eh? Except, was it a collapse by the Sixers? Their head coach Nick Nurse flatly said afterwards that the refs looked right at him multiple times when he was trying to call timeout, and was not granted either of those requests.

Knicks superfan and actor Jerry Ferrara made a rather convincing case that Nurse didn’t demand those timeouts as adamantly as the coach claimed.

What you could argue is that the Knicks committed multiple fouls before Tyrese Maxey was stripped of the ball. A hold could’ve been called on Jalen Brunson. There was heavy contact throughout New York’s whole go-ahead possession.

I don’t know. Sure looks like the home team caught a serious break here. Not to downplay the Knickerbockers’ efforts to keep the pressure on for 48 full minutes and get Philly to crack.

I mean, if the Sixers feel this strongly about it, you know something might be a little sketchy.

Filing a grievance with the NBA! Wowza.

I know this isn’t in the typical City of Brotherly Love playbook/paradigm/lexicon/cultural memory, but Philly: Chill out for once in your lives. If you had a real shot at a championship, sure, play this card. But now? For who for what?

Joel Embiid is hobbling around out there. A broken-seeming man after two games of an opening-round series. He looks like he’s in so much pain that he can’t even look up while saying the Sixers will still win the series despite a 0-2 deficit.

Embiid is, like, barely coherent. I feel for him. Damn. Has the guy not been through enough hardship as a basketball player already? Someone as great as Embiid has more than paid his dues.

You hate to see refs decide a game, but hey, the conclusion to this Game 2 duel lit up Madison Square Garden. It was awesome any way you slice it. And the Knicks are kind of starting to prove little by little more that they aren’t just a bunch of regular-season try-hards. New York has managed to swing a huge trade for OG Anunoby, weather his prolonged injury-induced absences, and overcome the loss of Julius Randle the rest of the way to emerge as the East’s No. 2 seed. They reaped the very real benefits of home-court advantage here.

Not holding my breath that the NBA will take any meaningful action with this so-called filed grievance. Sorry, Sixers.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock