Popovich 'angry, frustrated' about missed calls

Spurs coach understands NBA wants transparency

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Spurs head into Game 6 on Thursday night knowing they have to win in order to keep their season alive and force a Game 7 on Sunday night in San Antonio. They also know that things could be a lot different. 

For the second time in the Western Conference Semifinals series, the NBA admitted that referees failed to make foul calls at the end of Game 5.

A call should have gone against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams for tripping Spurs guard Danny Green with 54 seconds left, and then a foul committed by Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook wasn't called with under 9 seconds.

Westbrook ended up making a three-point play that gave the Thunder a four-point lead with only seconds remaining.

NBA officials also admitted that referees made some mistakes in Game 2.

At Thursday morning's shoot-around, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said he was "absolutely frustrated and angry the calls weren't made."

During and interview session, Popovich addressed the issue saying he understands the league wants to be transparent by putting out the information, but it still doesn't change the emotion of being on the wrong end of game-changing calls.

"It doesn't change anything. For the people involved, it's very frustrating because there's nothing you can do about it," Popovich said. "So it's sort of an odd practice in that sense."

"I think they just want to have transparency. So from their perspective it's a good thing, so that people know that they can admit errors. That's always a good thing, and people won't just guess about what's going on. So from their perspective it's a good thing, and that is hard to argue with."

But as Popovich points out, there is the other side of being transparent.

"It is frustrating when things happen like what happened in Game 2 and the last game at the end," he said. "But again, officials aren't doing that on purpose. They are going to miss things."

"It's a tough, tough deal. I am absolutely frustrated and angry that calls weren't made, but it happens to everybody along the way. You've been in the business long enough, you end up on both sides of it for sure. You let it go so you can play the next game."

Tipoff for Game 6 is at 7:30 p.m.

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