'We got screwed': Van Gundy blasts officials after Pistons loss

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Portland — Stan Van Gundy wasn’t happy with the officiating in the Pistons’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

He also wasn’t concerned about a potential fine.

Van Gundy unloaded in his postgame comments, frustrated that the Pistons weren’t getting the benefit of foul calls and getting a quick whistle when they defended the Blazers. Van Gundy went on a two-minute rant when asked about the Blazers’ defense in their 100-87 victory at Moda Center.

“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 and gets knocked down and they end up with two points at the other end.

“Blake (Griffin) has two straight drives in the fourth that he gets hammered on. It’s not a clean strip when you slap down and the ball goes up in the air. Try it sometime: somebody hold the ball, hit the guy on the ball and knock it down and see if it goes up in the air. He gets screwed twice.

“In the first half, the very first back-in he makes, Al-Farouq Aminu, two forearms — no call. (Reggie) Bullock gets fouled on a 3 — no call. But when you hit Damian Lillard on a 3, it is a foul.”

Van Gundy’s comments almost certainly will draw attention from the league office and result in a fine, but Van Gundy took the opportunity to vent on all the issues he has with officiating.

Often outspoken and vocal in his postgame comments, Van Gundy was more adamant about his frustrations with the crew in Saturday’s game: Tom Washington, Sean Corbin and J.T. Orr.

“A big part of (the Blazers’) defense — they play very hard; I don’t mean to take anything away from them,” Van Gundy said, “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.”

In the fourth quarter, the Pistons were within 10 points with 8:18 remaining in the fourth, opening the quarter with an 11-5 spurt. Kennard was making the cut and looked to be fouled, but got no call.

That’s where Kennard went off, getting himself a technical foul.

And the no-calls drew Van Gundy’s ire as well.

“(Officials say) ‘If I saw it, I would have called it’ — well, you know what? Your damn job is to see it,” Van Gundy said. “Referees, I love that. That’s an excuse: ‘I didn’t see it.’

“Why the hell do we have you out there? (Kennard) is the guy cutting — that’s where the ball is being passed. It’s not happening on the weak side of the floor. It’s embarrassing for them and for the league that they’re not going to make that call.”

The Pistons (30-39) have lost 13 of their last 16 games, which is a source for some of the frustration, too. They had a big comeback that fell short on Thursday in Denver and after getting the lead down to seven with 3:51 left, they were close, but after a final run, the Blazers were able to pull away.

During that run, Van Gundy also got a technical foul for arguing with the officials.

And he carried that into the postgame media session.

“I’ve been here for four years and I’ve been many more years before that and I’ve never come in after a game (like this) — never,” Van Gundy said. “I might have talked about one call, but I’ve never come in after a game and talked like this. That was embarrassing — we got absolutely screwed tonight.

“Our guys were fighting hard and playing hard. I’ve gotten on them at times, but they played really hard and fought really hard. Portland played hard, too, but it’s a lot easier to play hard when you can get away with everything they got away with.”

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard