That was a bad call. A kind of obviously bad call.
Down six and going for a three in the final 30 seconds of the Raptors eventual loss to the Kings, Lowry was freed up for a catch-and-shoot three and got called for the offensive foul.
What the referee misjudged was something they were specifically told to start cracking down on last year — players (Dwyane Wade and others did this a lot) would kick out a leg in front of them as they shot a jumper, hoping to draw contact from whomever was contesting then they would fall and try to draw the call. In those cases it was the shooter not making a basketball play and initiating the foul. Except that’s not what Lowry did at all — that was good form, and while his legs came out in front of him it was a natural part of his shooting motion. That should have been a four-point play, not an offensive foul. Not even close.
The technical Lowry got is something the league calls regularly now (most prominently LeBron James has gotten a couple of these recently, including one Wednesday night) — if you run away from the referee after a call that is considered a demonstrable action trying to show up the referee with your displeasure. They call that pretty consistently (Jeff Van Gundy hates it but they are consistent). I wish there was a little more leeway here — a guy running the length of the floor on a first quarter charging call is different from a guy frustrated with a call in the final 30 seconds of a close game. Emotions are up, we want to see guys express those emotions. That seemed thin-skinned by the referees for me, but it wasn’t out of line with what they had been doing. (Lowry already had a technical, so with that one he was ejected.)
To be clear, Toronto didn’t lose this game because of this call, they lost this game because DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings’ front line overwhelmed them in the first half and had Sacramento up by 22 at one point. However, this call ended Toronto’s comeback — if that is allowed to be a four point play then we have a two-point game with 25 seconds left and the end plays out differently. Sacramento probably still wins, but the Raptors had a chance. That bad call killed their chances.
Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.
The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.
Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:
The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.
Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:
Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.
In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.
DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.
“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.
Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.
The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”
New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.
The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.
As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.
With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.
Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.
Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.
It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.
Perhaps that’s some solace?
Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.
New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.
DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.
During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.
Looks about right.