The officiating in Thursday's Toronto Raptors Game 6 victory over the Boston Celtics courted plenty of controversy. Two plays in particular stood out. With 43 seconds left in regulation, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum threw a pass out of bounds in the direction of Toronto coach Nick Nurse, who was standing in the corner without technically stepping in bounds. Later, with only 4.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Celtics guard Kemba Walker attempted a possible game-winning shot, but was hit by Raptors forward OG Anunoby for what looked like a foul. No foul was called, though, and the Raptors survived to win in double overtime.
Celtics fans have anxiously awaited the league's verdict on the matters, and on Thursday, it released the Last 2 Minute Report on the game's ending. On the first play, it ruled that Nurse had not violated any regulations, saying "coaches may be on or off the bench from the substitution box line (closest to the coach's bench) to the baseline. Coach Nurse's (TOR) presence in the corner is not illegal and he does not directly interfere with the play." Below is the play in question.
"That was my fault. Can't blame Nick Nurse. He's not playing."— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 10, 2020
Tatum took full responsibility for turning it over vs. Raps, but Jaylen Brown had a different take: “Grown men should be able to control themselves. Especially coaching staff.” pic.twitter.com/TLChFaUMJh
But 39 seconds later, the NBA ruled that Anunoby did in fact commit a foul on Walker. That should have led to free throws that potentially could have won the game for Boston. "Anunoby (TOR) makes contact to Walker's (BOS) arm during his shooting motion that affects his driving shot attempt," the report states. The video upholds that ruling.
The NBA's Last 2 Minute Report says two crucial calls were missed in last night's 2OT thriller between the Celtics and Raptors, both against Boston.— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 10, 2020
The first missed call was that OG Anunoby fouled Kemba Walker on the arm on this potential game-winning shot attempt. pic.twitter.com/xUNFOA6QtH
The report found one other missed call, which, again, went against Boston. With 1:35 left in the fourth quarter, it states that Norman Powell should have been called for traveling on a play that eventually led to free throws. Powell made both attempts, and the game went into a second overtime, which the Raptors eventually won.
Missed calls are a part of basketball. That is especially true in the postseason, when officials have a tendency to hold whistles and let players play. This report covers only the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and each overtime. For all we know, Boston could have benefited from a number of missed calls earlier in the game that merely got lost in the shuffle. Toronto got a bit of help, but ultimately, the Raptors won this game on the floor, and Boston will have to try to do the same in Friday's Game 7.