With a 30-39 record, the Detroit Pistons know what it’s like to lose, but the way in which they lost Saturday night in Portland to the Trail Blazers left head coach Stan Van Gundy fuming.
“It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing for them and embarrassing for the league,” Van Gundy said of Saturday’s officiating, following a 100-87 loss.
“I’ve been here for four years and many more years before that, and I’ve never come in after a game — never, never come in after a game — and talked like this. That was embarrassing,” he said. “We got absolutely screwed tonight.”
Van Gundy went so far as to itemize several plays he felt were improperly officiated.
“They held and grabbed on every play and they got away with fouls all over the place. We got absolutely screwed all night,” Van Gundy said. “Luke Kennard makes a back cut to the basket on an out-of-bounds play, gets knocked down, they end up with two points on the other end. Blake Griffin has two straight drives in the fourth that he gets hammered on. He gets screwed twice.”
And while Van Gundy credited Portland for how well they played, he still noted that he thought the refs made a big difference in his team’s loss.
“A big part of [the Blazers’] defense — they play very hard, I don’t mean to take anything away from them — but when you can get away with playing like that and get screwed that badly by the officials, your defense is going to be pretty good,” Van Gundy said.
When asked if he was given any explanation about one of the calls, Van Gundy said he got an excuse with which he wasn’t happy.
“Yeah, ‘If I saw it, I would have called it.’ Well you know what? Your damn job is to see it. … Why the hell do we have you out there?”
Interestingly, the Pistons shot two more free throws than the Blazers, attempting 20 to Portland’s 18.
The Pistons trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, but they closed to 84-74 on Stanley Johnson‘s dunk with 8:18 left.
Johnson, who had 11 points and five rebounds off the bench, attempted to shrug off his issues with Saturday’s officiating.
“We’re grown men,” Johnson said. “We grab and hold just like they grab and hold. At the end of the day it is what it is. You can’t go back and change stuff. You can’t do nothing about it. If that’s the way they want to officiate the game, we gotta deal with it and try to maneuver the best we can.”
The Pistons, who have lost eight of their past 10 games, continue their six-game road trip Monday night against the Sacramento Kings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.