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Which NBA Playoff Non-Call Was Worse? KG’s Moving Screen Vs. Perk’s Goaltend

Submitted by on April 20, 2011 – 8:37 amOne Comment
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The NBA: Where Amazing(ly Bad Calls) Happen. Ever since we can remember, superstars have received the benefit of the doubt in the NBA when it comes to the referee’s whistle and players and fans alike have both come to accept this. What we can’t remember though, is so many straight-up blown (if your team lost)/controversial (if your team won) calls happening in the first week of the NBA Playoffs.

The first one is actually a two-parter, from Game 1 of the New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics series in the Eastern Conference. First of all, with the Knicks up a point and controlling the ball with 20 seconds left, Carmelo Anthony was called for an offensive foul. This would have been a dubious call in the first quarter of a December game, let alone in the final seconds of a playoff game. This led to the Celtics getting the ball, then this happened…

Great play, if you ignore the blatant hip-check and trip from Kevin Garnett on Toney Douglas, who was shadowing Boston’s Ray Allen. Moving screens are kind of like travels in the NBA, in that they only get called when they’re blatant—this was as close to blatant as it gets. Still, Allen had to make a tough clutch shot, and it went in. Praise Jesus (Shuttleworth).

The second blown call happened out West, in the first game of the Oklahoma Thunder vs Denver Nuggets series. This one also happened with a team up a point, this time the Nuggets, with around a minute left. Oklahoma have the ball, the shot is missed, the Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins goes up to tip it in, then this happened…

Offensive interference, right? If the ball is still over the rim, you can’t touch it (if the offensive player touches it, it’s a turnover. If a defender touches it, the basket counts). According to the three refs who watched Perkins go up through the net (not through the rim though, which would have been even more blatant) to tip it in, it was legal. Points count, Thunder go up a point and go on to win the game.

But was it really a legal play? The NBA issued a press release after the game, stating:

“Although a player is permitted to touch the net while the ball is in the cylinder above the rim, Perkins also touched the ball while it was still in the cylinder which is a violation and constitutes goaltending.”

Which call was worse to you? The Carmelo offensive foul/KG illegal screen combo, or the Thunder’s “Dear Denver, the basket shouldn’t have counted, love David Stern” tip in?

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