NBA Report: OKC Was Screwed Twice in Final Wiggins’ Buzzer Beater Play

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The NBA releases a report the day following any NBA action, where they judge the officiating from the day/night before. Who doesn’t like a good judging? While we like to do it at McDonalds and Walmart to judge other random citizens, the NBA and other professional sports leagues like to go back to the tape, after a game is played, to judge both its players and officials.

The “Last Two-Minute Report” is used to judge the officials during the final two minutes of games, when they are close. Read more on the report right here or skip it to continue.

Below is the league’s assessment of officiated events that occurred in the last two minutes of last night’s games that were at or within three points during any point in the last two-minutes of the fourth quarter (and overtime, where applicable). 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.

ANYWAYS…. Monday’s 2-minute report accuses KAT of cheating with an illegal screen, that opened up Wiggins for the game-winner. They also point to a timeout that Thibodeau tried to call, even though the Wolves didn’t have any timeouts remaining, which would have been a technical foul and turnover. He realized what he was doing right away and the ref didn’t notice. Here is how the NBA puts it (See the entire report here). You can be the judge yourself after watching it all over below:

(Thibs’ Supposed Timeout: 0:06 Mark at Top of Screen, Towns’ Allegedly Illegal Screen: 0:16 Mark at Top of Screen)

Alright alright… you might have me on the Thibs timeout, especially when he admitted it to Jerry Zgoda today…

“Yeah, we talked about it. I made a mistake,” Thibodeau said. “I started to call it, but we had talked about that in the timeout before with nine (seconds) to go. So we talked about not giving up the three — because you’re up two — and then what we wanted to run. We work on stuff, because if you’re down timeouts, what are you going to run to get the ball up the floor?”

In a new season when the NBA has reduced the number of timeouts late in games so it speeds the pace, Thibodeau called his signal made to a referee looking the other way instinctual. He quickly then began gesturing for his players to inbound the ball and push it up the floor.

“It was just a mistake on my part,” he said. “But I realized it right away, so we just kept going.”

Now, if they would have called the Towns’ screen, in that situation, there would have been a lot of bitter Timberwolves fans, including myself. Those are the types of fouls you call early on but you swallow your whistle for, in crunch time. Refs shouldn’t dictate the outcome of a game. Obvious fouls still need to be called. Towns’ foul looked hard because of the contact but it was far from obviously illegal. The report even notes that Towns’ stance was “too wide” for a legal screen but doesn’t notate any illegal movement on his part (see above). I haven’t seen too many illegal screens called for stance being too wide so that would have been some BIG bullshit.

When asked about the NBA report, Towns answer was great:

“Nah, I don’t care. We got the ‘W’. That’s all I care about.”

Agreed, Karl. Agreed.

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan
MinnesotaSportsFan.com @RealMNSportsFan

Sources: NBA.com, Star Tribune

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