NBA Self-Analysis Shows Missed Calls in OT Losses
Unlike many leagues, the NBA has gotten ahead of the curve in creating an atmosphere in which the decisions and calls of referees late in games are explained in the days following. The league issues Last Two-Minute Reports (L2M Reports), which detail every call made or not made in the final moments of a game.
On Wednesday, Dec. 30, Paul George appeared to be fouled on the Pacers' final play of the game, a lob pass defended by Jimmy Butler. Sure enough, the next day when the L2M Report was released, it stated that Butler had made contact with George's arm during his shot attempt; what's categorized as an "incorrect non-call," or an INC, by the league.
Last night, leading by two with little time remaining on the clock, Paul George tried to chase Dwyane Wade around a screen set by Chris Bosh, but lost Wade on the curl. Wade, as he's done many times in his career, laid one in to tie up the game at the end of regulation.
But the L2M released today stated that Bosh's screen was an illegal one, and thus, an INC. "Bosh (MIA) extends his hip as he sets the screen on George (IND) without giving him room to avoid the contact," the report reads.
In the overtime period, trailing by two points and attempting to rebound a missed free throw with five seconds remaining, Ian Mahinmi's balance seemed to be thrown off, and the loose ball ended up in the hands of Chris Bosh. Bosh was immediately fouled and sent to the line, where he extended the Heat's lead to three points with three seconds left.
In the L2M, that too reads as an INC, this time for a violation from Wade. "Wade (MIA) makes contact with Mahinmi's (IND) arm that affects his ability to secure the rebound," the report reads.
The two INC's were the only calls listed in the L2M Report as incorrect, which, despite it's name, was actually a seven-minute report due to the overtime period.
It was certainly a tough break for the Pacers, who have now had an incorrect non-call in their last two overtime periods, both of which were losses.
While it's easy to be upset by the non-calls, it's worth noting that few leagues offer transparency at the level the NBA does. It's not just how closely the league scrutinizes its own officials, but how open it is about the process behind it as well.