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Nuggets-Thunder (Game 1): Refs miss goaltending violation that gives OKC late lead

April 18th, 2011 1 comment

Last night during the Denver-Oklahoma City game, there was a controversial no-call that announcer Mike Fratello was jumping on the refs for not calling, and Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley were ridiculing the refs on the post-game show that it was a violation that should have been called.

Well, all of them were half right.

Our analysis of the play (video below) where OKC’s Kendrick Perkins tips in a basket that could have been a goaltending violation — based off reading the official NBA rulebook — reveals that it was NOT a violation if you’re just looking at the aspect of the player touching the net while tipping in a ball.

HOWEVER, we do think it was goaltending simply because the ball was still above the imaginary cylinder when it was touched, regardless of the net being touched while doing so. As a result, the refs missed the call, which was huge since it gave the Thunder a 102-101 lead with 1:06 remaining. OKC went on to win the game.

The refs who were working the game were Steve Javie (#29), Zach Zarba (#55), and Bill Kennedy (#58).

I can understand that it’s tough for the refs to see real-time if a ball is above the cylinder or not when it’s touched. With the luxury of the video replay (the angle from above the basket), it clearly shows that it was in the cylinder.

You would think in the last two minutes of a game, the refs could review the instant replay, but believe it or not, this is not a reviewable play. We believe it should be – the refs need help in crucial situations like this! What do you think?

It’s a very rare play to see a player so brazen to go through the net to try to tip-in a ball since the chances of getting called for goaltending are very high, so your first instinct is to think touching the net like this is a violation.
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