How Many Officials Does It Take to Cover the NBA Playoffs?
With a playoff roster that averages 17 Years of NBA experience, the NBA Playoffs will begin Saturday, May 22 with an official team roster of 36. The same group also comprises the officiating staff for the State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament this week on ESPN 99.1 as we have doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Tuesday - Eastern Conference game-1: Charlotte vs Indiana 5:00 PM followed by Washington vs Boston
- Wednesday - Western Conference game-1: San Antonio vs Memphis 6:00 PM followed by Golden State vs LA Lakers
“Our officials are an integral part of the NBA family and we thank them for their dedication, commitment and service to the game,” said Byron Spruell, NBA President, League Operations. “Congratulations to the group of 36 on their overall performance during the regular season and selection to work the 2021 NBA Playoffs.”
Longtime NBA official Tony Brown has been named as an honorary referee for the playoffs. Brown will not officiate during the playoffs after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last month.
Playoff officials are selected by the NBA Referee Operations management team based on three specific criteria assessed throughout the season: NBA Referee Operations graded rankings, play-calling accuracy, and team rankings. Officials will be evaluated after each round of the playoffs to determine who will advance in the 2021 postseason.
Twenty-four officials have five or more years of playoff experience, highlighted by Ken Mauer in his 27th postseason.
The first round of the playoffs tips off Saturday, May 22.
Source: Jim LaBumbard, League and Referee Operations Communications