NBA Officiating’s Last Two-Minute Report for Saturday’s game between the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets confirmed a call was missed on the final play.
According to NBA Officiating in its last two-minutes review of Saturday’s 117-115 win by the Brooklyn Nets over the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, there was one incorrect no-call made on the final play of the game when Kemba Walker‘s shot was ruled to have been blocked by Caris LeVert.
It’s just not, you know, the call Charlotte and its fans were expecting.
"“Games don’t come down to one play, I truly believe that. That last play, I mean, that’s a foul to me. From my vantage point, that’s a foul.“I feel if that play happens in the third quarter or the firs quarter, they call a foul. I just don’t understand how he doesn’t get free throws on that. That [expletive deleted] is crazy to me.”"
However, in its review, NBA Officiating said a correct no-call was made on LeVert’s block of Walker’s shot.
"“(Replays) show that LeVert (BKN) jumps in front of Walker (CHA) and that he legally blocks his shot when his elbow makes contact with the ball (and possibly his hand while it is in contact with the ball)."
However, per the report said that enhanced video shows that Walker slid his pivot foot after his gather and that a traveling violation should have been whistled, turning the ball over the Brooklyn with 0.7 second remaining.
Even without the enhanced view, if you are looking for it, you can see Walker’s shuffling of his feet before he goes up to shoot.
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The Hornets had an eight-point lead with 3:12 remaining before the Nets clawed back to take the lead twice in the closing minute, going up 114-113 on D’Angelo Russell‘s 16-foot jumper before Walker gave Charlotte the lead back with a layup to make it 115-114.
Russell’s deep 3 with 39.8 ticks on the clock proved to be the game-winner.
Per the report, the traveling violation by Walker was the only incorrect call made in the final two minutes of the game.
NBA Officiating releases an assessment of the calls made in the final two minutes of any game that was at or within three points at any point during that span and includes reviews of calls made and notable non-calls.
The Last Two-Minute Report was instituted by the NBA as a means of making its officiating process in close, late-game situations more transparent.
But the problem with this sort of after-the-fact reporting is that when there is an incorrect call, there is no recourse for the aggrieved team. There is no means to go back and fix the mistake, whether it directly changed the outcome of the game or not.
Brooklyn was on the wrong side of one of these earlier this season, when the Memphis Grizzlies erased a seven-point deficit in the final 26.8 seconds of regulation in what would be a double-overtime loss for the Nets.
Jaren Jackson took a 3-pointer from near the right sideline and was ruled to have been fouled by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Jackson made the free throw, making it a one-possession game, and later made another 3 with 15.9 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime.
The Last Two-Minute Report for that game determined that the call was botched and that Jackson should have been assessed an offensive foul for kicking out his leg, initiating the contact between himself and Hollis-Jefferson.
In a season that may come down to a single win or a loss, it’s hard to take a lot of solace in a report that, in effect, says nothing more than, “Whoops. Our bad.”
But those reports can deliver some pretty decent irony when a team and its fan base is convinced they were wronged, only to discover that the only thing missed on the play was a call that would have gone against them anyway.