Kevin Love’s big shot to beat the Clippers may have been the big story in the NBA on Friday, but there was another play near the end of regulation in the game between the Pacers and the Warriors that was just as exciting.
Only with that one, the NBA admits the officials made a horrible mistake.
Here’s how the play transpired: Game tied at 91, shot clock and game clock virtually in sync. Monta Ellis dribbles it down at the top of the three-point arc with George Hill defending. Ellis makes his move with about five seconds left, but Hill appears to get the steal, and goes for the and-1 lay-in at the other end.
Watching the replay, however, it’s clear that Hill’s foot, and not his quick hands, deserve the credit for the steal. And since it was an intentional gesture with the foot, it should have been the Warriors’ ball out of bounds instead of game over in the Pacers’ favor.
With 5.4 seconds remaining in the Indiana-Golden State game on Jan. 20, Pacers guard George Hill intentionally kicked the ball away from Warriors guard Monta Ellis during his cross over dribble. According to rule no. 10, Section IV.b, kicking the ball or striking it with any part of the leg is a violation when it is an intentional act. The officials missed the kicked ball violation which should have resulted in a deadball situation and Golden State inbounding the ball on the sideline nearest the spot of the violation.
In real time, and given the position of the closest official (behind Hill in front of the Warriors’ bench), it was likely impossible to tell that Hill had made that ever-so-slight move forward with the right foot, just as Ellis tried to cross over, which allowed him to get the steal. And certainly, this admission from the league is too little, too late as far as the Warriors and their fans are concerned. But more and more, as the league continues to review and admit to these mistakes going forward, it’s a positive step in general for the way things may transpire in the future.
Edmond Sumner declares for NBA draft despite torn ACL
That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.
Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.
Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.
His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.
A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.
But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.
If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.
Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.
PBT Extra: Can Boston hang on to the No. 1 seed in East?
In an unexpected twist as the season winds down, the Cavaliers have stumbled — 8-11 since the All-Star break — while the Celtics have just kept on winning. Suddenly the Boston Celtics are on top of the East with the best record.
Can they stay on top through the rest of the season?
Does it matter to the Cavaliers?
I cover all this ground in the latest PBT Extra.
Draymond Green on Raiders move to Las Vegas: I won’t attend another game
“And I’m not a diehard Raiders fan, but I support the city of Oakland. It ain’t for me and I feel like all fans should feel that way. You just don’t do that. Come on man, that’s ridiculous.”
“If I were the fans, I wouldn’t attend a game for the next two years. But that’s just me. That’s ridiculous. No way I’d pay my money to attend a game.”
Um, does Green realize the Warriors are also moving from Oakland (to a new arena in San Francisco)?
“It’s one thing if you’re moving them from Oakland to Fremont or something,” Green said of the Raiders. “To Las Vegas?
OK, that’s Fair. I am just being pedantic. I don’t actually see moving across the bay as similar to the Raiders moving hundreds of miles away.
“That’s like moving the Dallas Cowboys or moving the Packers,” he said. “Moving the Raiders? You can move a lot of teams. Ain’t many fan bases like the Raiders fan base. That’s like moving the Boston Celtics from Boston or the Lakers from LA.
“You just don’t move certain franchises with the fan base they have.”
But seriously this time: Someone tell Green that the Raiders have already moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland — hundreds of miles each way and a ridiculous drive in traffic.
I get that Green — who grew up in Detroit Lions territory, roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers and is pictured above in a San Francisco 49ers jersey — just wants to connect with Oakland fans, but this argument is just intellectually dishonest.