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.