"It Made Zero Sense to Me" - Chicago Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Critical of Officiating Following Loss to the Houston Rockets

This Season the NBA implemented new foul rules to stop players from hunting for calls. This has had a noted impact league-wide as some stars struggle to find their offense without the added help from the referees. Like all new rules, this one has not come without some growing pains, the most recent of which was witnessed last night in Houston in a game between the Rockets and the Bulls.

At the 5:13 mark of the fourth quarter with the Bulls down 99-94, Lonzo Ball nailed a 3-pointer and then tumbled to the ground after the release of the shot, something that has become a somewhat common sight in the NBA of late. The shot went down but was taken off the board due to a supposed offensive foul on Lonzo. The replay shows Lonzo falling to the ground at the edge of the frame and Kevin Porter Jr. falling down a moment later, though it is unclear exactly what happened. Regardless, the shot didn’t count and the Bulls went on to lose the game 118-113.

After the game, Bulls Coach Billy Donovan was clear that he “didn’t quite understand” the call against Lonzo. "The call made zero sense to me," Donovan said. "Now, I'm not saying it made zero sense to me because I don't agree with what they said. The way they explained it to me, and what I was able to see (on the in-arena cameras), did not make sense. And I'm not sitting there saying they were wrong on it, they're obviously looking at it and reviewing it. But I really don't know how you make a call like that based on what I saw." Donovan went on to add that he “didn’t see” Lonzo pull Kevin Porter Jr. to the ground, blaming the lack of coverage away from the basket for his inability to “get a clear look at the play”.

It will be interesting to see which group is forced to adapt, the players or the referees, but one thing is for certain. This will not be the last case of a coach being critical of officiating following a tough loss, it is one of the few constants we can truly count on in this ever-changing world. You can see full highlights for the game below.

Photo Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports