The NBA’s competition committee met Wednesday in San Antonio, and is making recommendations on expanding instant replay to include a few more potentially critical situations, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The bigger news, however, is that this is the first time that the league would allow plays that are judgment calls made by the officials to be potentially overturned following video review. To this point, only plays that have an objectively factual conclusion — such as whether a player’s feet were or were not in the restricted area, or which team touched the ball last before it went out of bounds — have been the subject of replay reviews.
Block/charge calls in late-game situations would be added to instant replay under the committee’s recommendation, as would off-the-ball fouls on inbounds plays and on made free throws.
While review is a good thing generally speaking, it’s tough to see how the block/charge was the one that made the cut. We’re talking about a play which is almost always 50-50 in real time, and it’s usually tough to tell even after multiple viewings which way it should have been whistled. It would be easy to see the referee who originally made the call sticking to it in an extremely high percentage of reviewable instances.
If the league truly wants to give the referees the ability to check their work, they should make all fouls in the last two minutes of the game eligible to be reviewed if two of the three officials on the floor have a question about a potentially game-changing call. Now that the door has been opened for judgment calls to be potentially added to the replay queue, it’s no longer impossible to envision.
The Los Angeles Clippers had a rough go of things against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Up by 18 with more than five minutes to go, LA blew their lead and were left to watch as the Kings sealed the game late.
The final possession for Sacramento came on a missed corner 3-pointer by Clippers guard Jamal Crawford. The Kings got the outlet pass out on the rebound, but Ben McLemore took it to the rack and missed. That’s when Willie Cauley-Stein stepped in, cleaned up the board, and put the game-winning shot home with less than two seconds left.
Los Angeles lost in spectacular fashion, and became the only team this season to lose given their game situation.
Here’s a compilation the NBA put together of Sacramento’s epic comeback:
Meanwhile, Chris Paul called it the worst regular season loss of his career.
The Clippers peaked too soon. Like, the first 20 games of the season too soon.
Russell Westbrook had yet another triple-double on Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder star notched 13 assists in the loss to the Houston Rockets, 137-125, and one of them came on a nifty pass to teammate Victor Oladipo.
The play happened with the Thunder on the fastbreak early in the third quarter. Westbrook was moving from left-to-right across the middle of the floor with the ball while Oladipo streaked down the right wing.
With the Rockets defense collapsing, Westbrook reached halfcourt and fired a bounce pass that sliced through the opposition.
Oladipo finished with the clean dunk.
Still not sure it beats this one, but I think we’ll have to compare once the season comes to a close.
The race between James Harden and Russell Westbrook for the 2017 NBA MVP has narrowed to a two-man race toward the end of the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is averaging at triple-double this year, and the Houston Rockets guard is doing things nobody has ever done on a basketball court before.
It’s a tough decision to decide between them, so much so that even former Los Angeles Lakers great and 2008 NBA MVP Kobe Bryant can’t do it.
Speaking on ESPN on Sunday, Bryant said he thought the league might have to just bite the bullet on Westbrook vs. Harden.
“We might see our first co-MVPs this year,” said Bryant.
That would be a huge step for the league, but I’m not entirely sure they would do it. There have been co-NBA All-Star Game MVPs in years past, but never league MVP.
Still, can you decide between Russ and Harden? The Mamba can’t.
Houston Rockets center Nene is from Brazil, but on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder the South American native went full euro.
On a fastbreak possession, Nene took on Thunder big man Enes Kanter near the rim and absolutely shook him with a nasty eurostep.
The play was so good that it forced Oklahoma City to call a timeout as James Harden and the rest of the Rockets bench met Nene on the court to celebrate.