Shannon Sharpe reacts to Harden, Houston Rockets blowing 26-point lead against the Celtics

– Shannon, did the refs get the calls right?

SHANNON SHARPE: I believe they did. I believe if those are fouls in the first quarter, they should be fouls in the fourth quarter.

I hate that he called them, because now it takes the emphasis off the Houston Rockets. They blew this game. And now James Harden is wanting to make it seem like the referees cost them the game. They were playing the entire game. They got up by 26, Skip, with two referees. That’s all they had, two.

Wasn’t a problem then. I didn’t hear nobody mention anything about they only have two– I didn’t even know it. I didn’t know it until this morning. Not saying I’m– I’ve got no sound going. I’m just watching the game.

SKIP BAYLESS: You should turn that sound up.


SKIP BAYLESS: It was pretty clear.

– Sometimes they tell you stuff that’s out there.

SHANNON SHARPE: No, I don’t even know all that. It wasn’t going to change anything. They still lost.


SHANNON SHARPE: Well, I wish they’d had the third ref, because he probably would have whisper whispered in James Harden’s ear– you know you guys are up 26. Jacking up quick threes is not really helping you guys. But never mind that, Skip.

Harden pushed. And I think what Harden did is, like, OK, you called that on me? You ain’t going to call it again. You ain’t going to’ call it that again. Oh, I know that’s not going to happen.

Guess what? He called it again. It’s almost– Skip, I get pulled over with a speeding ticket. And then in the process the officer gives me a ticket, I kick up dirt on these cops pulling away. What you think he going to do? [IMITATES SIREN] Pull me over again. And that’s what happened to James Harden.

Still, the ref didn’t cost the Rockets this game. Their play– and this is the concern that people have about Mike D’Antoni come playoff time. Skip, they had five assists in the second half. They had one in the fourth quarter. They were still playing– the Houston Falcons should be ashamed of themselves. Oh, my bad. Houston Rockets, Atlanta Falcons. Well, same thing. You get where I’m going.

Skip, they ought to be ashamed of themselves. You’re up 26 points, and you’re jacking up threes like you’re down 26. At some point in time, you’ve got to run the offense. But I think the offense is James Harden, who can step back threes, James Harden going to the free throw line. Those are the first two options.

And then, OK– I’m watching the game, Skip, and like I said, I don’t have the sound. I’m watching Eric Gordon, Skip. They get a second chance. They get a rebound. He jacks up a three with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. I’m like, why?

SKIP BAYLESS: That’s what they do.

SHANNON SHARPE: Exactly. And that’s not an offense. At some point in time, you’re like, you know what? We need to slow this tempo down. But they didn’t do that. They kept jacking up shots, give the Celtics– they kept scrapping. They kept fighting. But you missed Marcus Smart. He traveled on that one call. He got the ball, and I thought he was doing the electric slide.

SKIP BAYLESS: You could have called it.

SHANNON SHARPE: Oh, they should have.

SKIP BAYLESS: He was shuffling.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] shuffle at that. They should have called it, but they didn’t. Skip, that’s what I hate about this game, is that these two calls overshadow what Houston didn’t do at the end to close this ballgame. Because they should have won this game going away, but they didn’t because they got reckless with the ball. They kept jacking up quick shots.

And you know what? The Celtics are saying, you know what? We’re getting closer. We’re getting closer. And they tighten up, Skip. We’ve seen games like this before in other sports. They tighten up in the end, and it cost them the ballgame.

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