Down with the zebras! Echoing the sentiments of many, ESPN announcer Jeff Van Gundy said referee Ed Malloy was “ruining the end to this game” after Malloy charged Celtics forward Paul Pierce with his second technical foul in less than 58 seconds during today’s Game 1 between the Heat and Celtics.
Miami won 99-90, and takes a 1-0 series lead.
Pierce was tossed, but it’s not exactly clear why. After setting a hard screen on Dwyane Wade, the two briefly got into each other’s faces. Malloy, who was right there, immediately stepped between the two, and then ejected Pierce.
This got Van Gundy fired up.
Although Malloy obviously overreacted, it’s dicey business for announcers to rail on officials, and they usually try to avoid calling out refs directly. But kudos to Van Gundy for not holding back.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was also (understandably) peeved. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Rivers told Malloy, “You can’t get emotional…it was two guys talking…that’s on you.”