The Heat and Bulls are tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference at 39-41. The 40-40 Pacers are just one game ahead.
The margin for error for the East’s final two playoff spots is razor thin. The difference between reaching the postseason and falling to the lottery could be just a couple seconds.
Miami got that few-second advantage Saturday.
Whiteside (MIA) is in the paint for longer than three seconds.
Miami forward James Johnson dunked while Whiteside was committing the uncalled violation.
We obviously can’t know what would have happened if Whiteside had been whistled, but the Heat led by only one when Washington had to intentionally foul. Then, Whiteside sealed the three-point win with a block.
The two-minute report also noted Miami guard Goran Dragic getting away with fouling Bradley Beal with 28 seconds left. But John Wall drew a foul later in the same possession. There’s negligible difference between Beal (82% this season, 79% career) and Wall (80% this season, 79% career) as free-throw shooters.
The third marked missed call in the report was Wizards center Marcin Gortat getting away with offensively fouling Tyler Johnson with 9.7 seconds left. But this call also looks inconsequential, with Washington not scoring on that possession anyway.
Whiteside’s uncalled three-second violation directly resulted in two points for the Heat, who, again, led by only one when Washington had to intentionally foul. That’s the only call in the two-minute report that’s swinging playoff fortunes.