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Tracking the referees

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The Pistons have a love-hate relationship with the refs. Actually, that's not true -- I'm not sure there's much "love" to be found anywhere. While the refs seem to tolerate some Pistons (Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups generally have a good rapport) other guys (ahem, Rasheed Wallace and Rip Hamilton) seem to draw the ire of the men in stripes simply by looking at them wrong.

But is this all anecdotal evidence? Are there really some refs out there who have it "in" for the Pistons? I'd venture to say not, especially after looking over the data published over at Human Victory Cigar. They compiled a list of every single referee to work a Pistons game this year and tallied the number of games the Pistons won or lost for each one. Now, obviously there's some redundancy here -- refs work in three-man crews, so there's going to be some overlapping, but it's still interesting to to see.

All in all, there were 59 refs, including 11 who only worked Pistons victories:

  • Jess Kersey (5-0)
  • Jason Phillips (5-0
  • Benny Adams (5-0)
  • James Capers (4-0)
  • Joe Derosa (4-0)
  • Dan Crawford (4-0)
  • Rodney Mott (3-0)
  • Bob Delaney (3-0)
  • Derrick Stafford (2-0)
  • Tim Donaghy (1-0)
  • Scott Wall (1-0)

There were only two referees who presided over nothing but Pistons losses ...

  • Phil Robinson (0-3)
  • Jeff Smith (0-1)

... but there were three refs who officiated in at least four Pistons losses:

  • Ron Olesiak (2-4)
  • Eli Roe (1-4)
  • Marc Davis (1-4)

What can we take from this? Well, most likely nothing, but it's still pretty interesting for hard-core NBA nerds to study. Usually I don't pay much attention to who's calling a game, but going forward I know I'm going to pay extra attention to calls made by guys like Robinson, Roe and Davis. Be sure to check out HVC for the entire list.

The reason this list caught my eye was because of a conversation I had with DBB reader Erin P. regarding Rasheed Wallace's relationship with the refs -- specifically, whether Rasheed could breath a sigh of relief knowing that noted hot-head Joey Crawford had been suspended for the duration of the playoffs.

As I'm sure you're aware, Rasheed led the league with 19 technical fouls this year, not to mention two that were rescinded by the commissioner's office and one from the preseason. While the task of trying to figure out which ref actually gave Rasheed the T in each game would be would be incredibly time-consuming (if not simply impossible -- I don't know if that data is actually published anywhere), Erin was able to compile a list to see which refs were at least working that game (ie, just because someone appears on the list doesn't mean they actually blew the whistle, it just means they worked a game in which one of the refs did).

So who officiated the most games in which Rasheed got a tech? Good ol' Sean Corbin with five games. But it didn't really hurt the Pistons -- checking the HVC list, we see that the Pistons actually compiled a 5-3 record under Corbin this year. After the jump are the rest of the refs, along with the number of games they worked in which Rasheed got a tech.

  • 5 Sean Corbin
  • 3 Scott Foster
  • 3 Leroy Richardson
  • 3 Derek Richardson
  • 3 Tom Washington
  • 3 Violet Palmer
  • 2 Orlandis Poole
  • 2 Eric Lewis
  • 2 Marc Davis
  • 2 Tony Brothers
  • 2 Kevin Fehr
  • 2 Bernie Fryer
  • 2 Steve Javie
  • 2 Leon Wood
  • 2 Eddie F. Rush
  • 2 Sean Wright
  • 1 Luis Grillo
  • 1 Ken Mauer
  • 1 Ed Malloy
  • 1 Jess Kersey
  • 1 Matt Boland
  • 1 Jim Clark
  • 1 David Guthrie
  • 1 Dick Bavetta
  • 1 Monty McCutchen
  • 1 Tommy Nunez
  • 1 Bill Kennedy
  • 1 Pat Fraher
  • 1 Rob Garretson
  • 1 Gary Zielinski
  • 1 Courtney Kirkland
  • 1 Joe Forte
  • 1 Bob Delaney
  • 1 Rodney Mott
  • 1 Mike Callahan
  • 1 Benny Adams
  • 1 Robbie Robinson

And, just in case you want to go back and try figuring out which ref actually blew the whistle, here are the games in which Rasheed earned a technical this year:

  • 10/13/06 OFFICIALS: #33 Sean Corbin , #51 Leroy Richardson , #34 Marc Davis (preseason)
  • 11/01/06 OFFICIALS: #8 Luis Grillo , #41 Ken Mauer , #73 Ed Malloy
  • 11/03/06 OFFICIALS: #33 Sean Corbin , #7 Bernie Fryer , #63 Derek Richardson
  • 11/06/06 OFFICIALS: #29 Steve Javie , #49 Tom Washington , #42 Eric Lewis
  • 11/18/06 OFFICIALS: #25 Tony Brothers , #29 Steve Javie , #40 Leon Wood (tech rescinded)
  • 11/30/06 OFFICIALS: #33 Sean Corbin , #17 Joe Crawford , #51 Leroy Richardson
  • 12/01/06 OFFICIALS: #48 Scott Foster , #20 Jess Kersey , #46 Matt Boland
  • 12/08/06 Officials: #25 Tony Brothers , #33 Sean Corbin , #39 Kevin Fehr
  • 12/26/06 Officials: #6 Jimmy Clark , #49 Tom Washington , #42 Eric Lewis
  • 01/06/07 Officials: #25 Tony Brothers , #48 Scott Foster , #60 David Guthrie
  • 01/12/07 Officials: #27 Dick Bavetta , #12 Violet Palmer , #50 Olandis Poole
  • 01/17/07 Officials: #13 Monty McCutchen , #40 Leon Wood , #28 Tommy Nunez
  • 01/19/07 Officials: #12 Violet Palmer , #32 Eddie F. Rush , #52 Pat Fraher
  • 01/28/07 Officials: #33 Sean Corbin , #49 Tom Washington , #65 Sean Wright
  • 02/02/07 Officials: #10 Ron Garretson , #63 Derek Richardson , #59 Gary Zielinski
  • 02/10/07 Officials: #48 Scott Foster , #61 Courtney Kirkland , #50 Olandis Poole (tech rescinded)
  • 02/21/07 Officials: #45 Joe Forte , #63 Derek Richardson , #65 Sean Wright
  • 03/09/07 Officials: #26 Bob Delaney , 1 #39 Kevin Fehr , #71 Rodney Mott
  • 03/16/07 Officials: #24 Mike Callahan , #12 Violet Palmer , #47 Bennie Adams
  • 03/23/07 Officials: #32 Eddie F. Rush , #55 Bill Kennedy , #53 Robbie Robinson
  • 03/29/07 Officials: #7 Bernie Fryer , #51 Leroy Richardson , #34 Marc Davis

Kudos to the guys at PF.com and HVC for compiling the first set of data, and much thanks to Erin for compiling the second. If you start comparing the two and notice any other trends, tell us in the comments.