During the Los Angeles Lakers vs Minnesota Timberwolves play-in game, Lakers fans loudly chanted “REFS YOU SUCK” halfway through the third quarter as the fan favorite team trailed by seven points. The LA-based team has often benefited from vital calls made in their favor, making it amusing to hear their fans complain about officiating.
As clear of a “Ref You Suck!” Chant you will ever hear pic.twitter.com/WTNIDuWMBU
— CJ Vogel (@CJVogel_TFB) April 12, 2023
In the game against the Timberwolves, Lakers fans erupted after the team received a contested foul, one quarter after they felt they were shafted when a big man was called for goaltending. While it appeared to be a block from all angles, it was called a two-point for Minnesota, causing frustration for Lakers fans.
The refs called goaltending on this block by Jarred Vanderbilt in the Lakers-Wolves game 😳
The Lakers (-380 ML) currently trail the Wolves by double digits going into halftime…
Did the refs make the right call? pic.twitter.com/mDDAOs6J2F
— Ballislife Bets (@BallislifeBets) April 12, 2023
Despite the Lakers being bailed out by refs many times, fouls almost led to their downfall in the game against the Timberwolves. With 0.1 seconds left in the game and up by three points, Lakers big man Anthony Davis fouled Memphis’ Mike Conley. Conley then sent the game into overtime after making all three of his free throws. However, King James’ team was able to come out on top in overtime, defeating the Timberwolves 108-102.
Only Lakers fans can unironically scream refs you suck while being saved by them all year 💀 pic.twitter.com/GzByREKF2V
— Jake Camarda the punt god (@Dapuntgod) April 12, 2023
The referee crew, consisting of David Guthrie, Tyler Ford, Tre Maddox, and Michael Smith, received backlash on social media, with fans accusing them of siding with the Timberwolves. Tyler Ford, in particular, was booed by the home crowd at the Crypto.com Arena for allegedly favoring Karl-Anthony Towns and his team. Fans and social media users called for Ford to be replaced, with some even labeling him as the worst official in the NBA alongside Tony Brothers, Zach Zarba, and Scott Foster.
Despite the controversy, the Lakers secured their spot in the Western Conference playoffs and will face off against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. While Lakers fans may have their complaints about officiating, the team will need to focus on their performance on the court if they want to succeed in the playoffs.
Analyzing the Lakers’ Playoff Prospects: Can LeBron and AD Overcome the Grizzlies’ Defense?
The Lakers secured the seventh seed in the playoffs after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves in a play-in game, despite facing less than a 20% win probability for much of the game. Since the trade deadline, the Lakers have been third in the league in points, and they limited the Timberwolves to 102 points, well below their season average. Anthony Davis had a big night with 24 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and two steals.
The Lakers’ new starting five, which includes D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Davis, has potential, but Russell and Reaves struggled against the Timberwolves. The Lakers’ success in the playoffs may depend on their shooting, which has been inconsistent, and they will face a tough defensive team in the Grizzlies, who finished third in the league in season-long defensive rating.
The Lakers’ defense could also struggle against the Grizzlies, particularly with no one consistently impeding Ja Morant’s path to the paint. The Grizzlies are favored to win the series, but the Lakers have the advantage of having LeBron and Davis, who won a title together three years ago.