The NBA has been consistent in issuing statements in the days following controversial calls made by its officials, and while there was plenty of buzz about one such situation late in the Warriors Game 1 win over the Clippers, the league says the referees ultimately handled it correctly.
Well, except for the fact that they missed the initial call.
With 18.9 seconds remaining and the Clippers trailing by two, Chris Paul lost the ball out of bounds, turning it over to the Warriors. The referees needed to go to the video review to confirm who would get possession, and as the replay was shown multiple times on the broadcast, it was immediately clear that Paul was fouled before the ball got away.
There was some chatter about it among fans and between the announcers as it was going on live, so the NBA issued a statement confirming that the officials handled the replay part of things in accordance with NBA rules.
The official release:
Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding a play late in the fourth quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ 109-105 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on April 19, at Staples Center:
“After reviewing postgame video, we have concluded that the instant replay review of the out-of-bounds call with 18.9 seconds remaining in the game involving the Clippers’ Chris Paul and the Warriors’ Draymond Green was administered correctly by the referees and the correct decision was made in awarding the ball to the Warriors. Under the existing rule, referees may only use instant replay to determine which player caused the ball to go out and a limited set of other reviewable matters (see summary of rule here: http://t.co/IQ2qM6BOjb). Just prior to the ball going out-of-bounds, Paul was fouled by Green and Paul should have been granted two free throws. Contact preceding out-of-bounds calls is not a reviewable matter.”
Essentially, this is simply a reminder that foul calls like this one are not reviewable as the rules are currently written. But the admission that a foul should have indeed been called won’t make Paul or the Clippers feel any better about it as they’re looking at the wrong end of a 1-0 playoff series deficit.