The NBA installed a centralized replay center this season, in order to have a single location that could feed relevant video to officials in real time so that upon the utilization of the replay rules, they could get the call right.
While it works well in most instances, some plays are simply beyond reproach — and even with the help of the replay center, it’s possible for a call to be incorrectly overturned once the play is put under even further scrutinization.
This happened late in Friday night’s contest between the Heat and the Wizards. As Miami’s Tyler Johnson went in for a put-back tip-in with 1:08 remaining, the initial ruling was that he touched the ball while it was in the cylinder, and the basket was disallowed. But the replay center overturned the call (well, technically the officials in the arena did with the center’s assistance) and awarded the Heat with two points.
The game’s Last Two Minute Report, however, graded that overturning as incorrect, stating that Johnson touched the ball again after the initial legal tap, which should have negated the play altogether.
I don’t know about that. After multiple viewings, it’s possible that Johnson may have touched the ball one more time, but the video evidence seemed to be inconclusive, at best.
What this tells us more than anything is that the legality of a given play can sometimes be impossible to discern in real time, or even with the help of an entire team of people feeding video to the officials onsite.