For the second time in less than a week, the NBA has admitted that refs missed a crucial call down the stretch of a close game.
On Christmas Day, officials Kevin Durant on LeBron James in the Warriors' 99-92 win. Then on Saturday, the NBA's Last Two Minute Report acknowledged that refs missed Giannis Antetokounmpo stepping out of bounds just before hitting the go-ahead basket with 3.2 seconds left in the Bucks' 97-95 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.from
There has been plenty of outrage over the missed calls -- not that the refs missed them, necessarily, but that the current NBA replay system does not allow for crucial calls like this to be corrected down the stretch.
Our Brad Botkin wasabout the most recent example.
Everyone wants to see the right calls made, but the problem is that the more things you're able to review, the more the game slows down in the final two minutes -- a period the league has already attempted to speed up by eliminating some timeouts. In the instance of LeBron's fouls, one could argue that since the officials were already reviewing the play to see who knocked the ball out of bounds, they should also be able to retroactively call a foul if they see it on the monitor.
In Giannis' case, however, there was no whistle blown on the play, so there was nothing to review. You'd therefore need an NFL-like challenge system or some other way to initiate a review, which would absolutely take more time and disrupt the flow of the game.
The NBA is generally quick to act on issues with the rules, so don't be surprised to see them at least address the issue over the offseason.