J.R. Smith’s folly wasn’t the only mistake made at the end of regulation in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
In its Last Two Minute Report on officiating, the NBA admitted that Draymond Green committed a lane violation on the decisive George Hill free throw that eventually led to Smith dribbling the ball out of the paint and ending regulation tied 107-107. If the violation had been caught, Hill would have been awarded a new free throw attempt and another chance to give the Cavs the lead.
Draymond Green’s lane violation on George Hill free throw
Draymond had a pretty bad lane violation on George Hill’s missed free throw too. Swooped into Tristan’s entire block. pic.twitter.com/cEaW02zSIt
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 1, 2018
Green’s violation wasn’t the only ruling of note from the NBA, and also not the only one pertaining to Green. The report stated there was an incorrect non-call with 12 seconds remaining in the game when Green grabbed LeBron James, which should have been called for a foul.
Kevin Durant charge or LeBron James blocking foul?
The section that Cavaliers fans might be most interested in is what the league had to say about the charge call on Kevin Durant that turned into a blocking foul on LeBron James, a key sequence that helped keep the Warriors in the game.
The NBA backed the referees’ decision that James committed a blocking foul, noting that James was still turning his body and moving when he made contact with Durant:
The crew was not reasonably certain whether James (CLE) was in the restricted area after an offensive foul was called against Durant (GSW). Upon replay review, it was confirmed that James was outside the restricted area. The referees also reviewed whether James was in a legal guarding position, which is an additional reviewable matter for this replay trigger. Replay showed James was not in a legal guarding position because he was turning his body and moving into Durant when contact occurred. Thus the initial call on the floor was overturned and James was assessed a blocking foul.
So, overall, the refs erred on a major call or two at the end of the game, but probably not the call Cavaliers fans were thinking. That’s probably little consolation given how overtime went for Cleveland fans.
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