The Brooklyn Nets jumped on the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers in the second quarter of Monday’s lone NBA outing and never looked back, winning the Lopez Brothers battle by a comfortable 106-94 margin.
Just imagine if the game had been close, though. If the Nets, fighting tooth and nail for one of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spots, trailed by a point in the contest’s waning moments and were forced to play a losing foul game. Or even if the final score put Portland ahead of Brooklyn by one.
What would the league do then?
Why official Bennie Adams called Damian Lillard’s 20-footer a three-pointer is inexplicable. His only possible defense is that he mistook the half circle above the free throw line for the three-point arc, but that hardly makes Adams’ mistake any better. Maybe worse than the initial error, though, is that the other two referees didn’t immediately signal to the sideline for video review on the next dead-ball. As a result, Lillard and the Blazers were awarded an extra point they didn’t deserve.
We aren’t among the vocal majority who constantly question the ability of officials – it’s a tough job, and there surely aren’t many people better equipped to do it than those already under the league’s employ. The NBA deserves kudos for promoting transparency with recently implemented “Last Two Minutes” reports, too.
Not up for debate: A glaring and compounded mistake like this one only shines brighter light on the league’s perceived referee problem with the playoff magnifying glass just around the corner. The league office should issue a statement on the error and perhaps reprimand Adams and his crew – this is simply something that can’t happen in the postseason, irrespective of its effect on a game’s outcome.
[Video via Go Blazers]