Author: Brett Pollakoff

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks

NBA says Kyle Korver didn’t travel on Hawks’ final Game 4 possession


Paul Pierce had a chance to once again be the hero for the Wizards in Game 4 against the Hawks, but his game-tying three-point attempt rimmed out with a few seconds remaining, and Atlanta sealed the victory at the free throw line on the ensuing possession.

But should the Hawks have gotten that chance?

Kyle Korver appeared to have committed a traveling violation upon receiving the inbound pass, before getting the ball to Paul Millsap, who was intentionally fouled and then knocked down two free throws to put the game officially out of reach.

Bradley Beal thought it was a travel, and so did plenty of others. But the league’s ruling, courtesy of the game’s Last Two Minute report, says that the no-call was correct, and that there was no violation.

“Korver (ATL) slides when receiving the inbound pass,” the report says. “Players that fall to the floor while holding the ball (or stopping) may not gain an advantage by sliding. No call is correct as no advantage is gained.”

Wizards fans would obviously disagree.

The falling to the floor part isn’t what people took issue with; it was the “sliding” before then, which appeared to show Korver taking multiple steps to get set after gaining possession.

The advantage may not have been one that could be measured in terms of Korver getting closer to the basket. But it’s a pretty large advantage for the play not to have been ruled a turnover, which would have given the ball back to the Wizards with one more chance to tie things up at the end of regulation.

Here’s why Taj Gibson deserved to be ejected from Game 5 (VIDEO)

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five

Early in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s Game 5 win over the Bulls, Taj Gibson was ejected for what the referees viewed as a kick to Matthew Dellavedova, who was on the ground after being pushed there by Gibson during a box-out situation.

While many believe that Gibson’s “kick” only happened because of the leg lock that Dellavedova had on him, the actions by Gibson earlier in the possession, when looking at the totality of the play, did in fact warrant the ejection.

Gibson is overly-physical with Dellavedova twice on the perimeter, as he attempts to screen for Aaron Brooks. He gets Dellavedova with an arm around the neck …


and then throws his shoulder forward to catch Dellavedova in the face …


before shoving Dellavedova in the back …


which caused him to hit the floor before the leg lock and kick ever took place.

Here’s a look at the entire possession.

The referees easily could have called Gibson for the foul on the screen, because he clearly launches his shoulder forward for maximum impact. Had this happened, there obviously wouldn’t have been any incident between the two players under the basket.

Now, should Gibson have been ejected simply for shaking his leg loose from Dellavedova’s grasp, no matter how bad it looked initially? Of course not. But given the way Gibson caused the altercation by his actions very early in the possession, I believe the ejection was warranted — although I don’t feel like Gibson is deserving of any additional punishment in the form of a fine or suspension.

[Photos via Tom Read]

LeBron flies in to reject Derrick Rose’s game-tying shot (VIDEO)


The Cavaliers held on for a critical Game 5 victory over the Bulls to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, and not surprisingly, it was largely due to the play of LeBron James.

Chicago battled back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to trail by just two with under a minute to play, and after a missed three from Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose had a full head of steam coming down the floor in transition.

It appeared as though Rose would be able to get close enough for an uncontested runner from a few feet away, but as he elevated for the shot, James came flying in seemingly out of nowhere, and hung in the air long enough to swat the ball out of bounds.

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LeBron finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals, three blocked shots — and zero turnovers.