NBA officiating

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

5 June 2018

NBA officiating struggles with Last Two Minute Report. Get rid of it.

Here I go again harping on the NBA. This time, it has nothing to do with dichotomy of the super teams and those tanking. Nor how players make a mockery of All-Star voting. Rather, I’m harping about a garbled practice called the Last Two Minute Report that NBA officiating crews have to understand. Boy, is it ever a big fat turd of an idea.

Per the NBA:

Below is the NBA’s assessment of officiated events that occurred in the last two minutes of games that were within three points at any time in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or the last two minutes of any overtime period (where applicable) during the 2017-18 season.

The plays assessed include all calls (whistles) and notable non-calls. Notable non-calls will generally be defined as material plays directly related to the outcome of a possession. Similar to our instant replay standards, there must be clear and conclusive video evidence in order to make a determination that a play was incorrectly officiated.

Events that are indirectly related to the outcome of a possession (e.g., a non-call on contact away from the play) and/or plays that are only observable with the help of a stop watch, zoom or other technical support are noted in brackets along with the explanatory comments but are not deemed to be incorrectly officiated. The league may change its view after further review.

Following this is a meandering list of games that met and did not meet the “Last Two Minute Report” guidelines.

“NBA officiating is hard enough without having to decipher when the guidelines are in place.”

These reports don’t help a thing. So get rid of them.

NBA officiatingConsider the last two minutes of this year’s NBA finals opener. In this game, LeBron James took a questionable defensive foul. Upon the findings of the Last Two Minute Report, LeBron indeed fouled.

However, the NBA officiating crew notes that Draymond Green of Warriors commits a lane violation on the final free-throw attempt of the game. George Hill of the Cavaliers missed this free throw, but it should have retaken it with Green’s violation. If Hill makes the retake, then the Cavaliers hold a one-point advantage with four seconds in regulation. And the controversy around JR Smith’s boneheaded play doesn’t happen.

No wonder NBA officiating crews screw up

Anything can happen in four seconds, including a victory for the Cavs. Instead, the game remained tied, which led to overtime, and later won by the Dubs.

My beef is that these games are not being replayed based on The Last Two Minute findings. NBA officiating is hard enough without having to decipher when the guidelines are in place.

Cleveland fans should be celebrating a win on the road. And rightfully so. They have the facts to bolster their point of view. But knowing the slight does nothing to affect the final outcome. So, if all these reports do is muster turmoil, why even have them? Is the intention for the league to give a mea culpa when the NBA officiating crew screws up? Perhaps, as that’s what it did when it conceded that non-calls hurt the Raptors in a loss to the Bucks earlier this year.

Such a practice doesn’t work for the NBA, nor would it for any other sporting league. As is, the NBA should rectify situations based on report findings or scrap them altogether. I am thinking the latter needs to happen immediately.

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