The NBA referee assignments are out for Game 1 of the four first-round playoffs series scheduled for Saturday.
Each playoff series develops unique storylines that usually include various amounts of influence from the referee crews assigned to the games. In general, the league would prefer that the players decide the game on the court, which in turn allows for more physical play than we would see in the average regular season game.
Home-court advantage and the off days between games also play a role in the officiating. Mandatory press conferences give coaches a chance to opine in general terms about how their team is not being treated fairly by the stripes in an effort to set a favorable tone for the next game. That doesn't always work if a ref gets caught up in the wild home-court environment when the home team gets rolling.
Here are the NBA referee assignments for Saturday's Game 1s:
|Game||Official 1||Official 2||Official 3||Alternate|
|Boston @ New York||Monty McCutchen||Bill Spooner||Gary Zielinski||Kane Fitzgerald|
|Chicago @ Brooklyn||Ken Mauer||Ed Malloy||Sean Wright||Josh Tiven|
|Golden State @ Denver||Mike Callahan||David Guthrie||Tom Washington||Brian Forte|
|Memphis @ L.A. Clippers||Scott Foster||John Goble||Bill Kennedy||Mark Ayotte|
Among those referees, Bill Kennedy and John Goble, both working the Memphis-L.A. Clippers game at Staples Center, are considered the most home-team-friendly officials, according to Covers.com. David Guthrie and Tom Washington rank seventh and eighth on that list, respectively, and both will be in Denver for Game 1 of the Warriors-Nuggets series.