In the Knicks win over the 76ers yesterday, Carmelo Anthony hit a clutch 3-pointer to send the game to overtime – once Philadelphia failed to score on the other end.
But the 76ers, if the final moments were called correctly, probably would have scored.
Isaiah Canaan missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Lou Amundson should’ve been called for fouling Nerlens Noel going for the rebound with 1.3 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:
Amundson (NYK) pushes Noel (PHI) into Thomas (NYK) affecting his ability to retrieve the rebound.
The Knicks were in the penalty. So, a correct call would’ve given Noel – a 60% career free-throw shooter – two attempts. If that represented his true odds, he would’ve had an 84% chance of making at least one.
Of course, the Knicks could’ve gotten a final attempt to score themselves.
Instead, they settled for three missed calls in their favor in overtime.
The first missed call in overtime actually favored Philadelphia.
Not only should Jose Calderon not have been called for fouling Canaan, Canaan fouled Calderon first:
Canaan (PHI) hooks Calderon (NYK) on the spin move.
Calderon (NYK) cleanly strips the ball from Canaan (PHI).
The Knicks also got away with an illegal Amundson screen a couple minutes later:
Amundson (NYK) sets the hand-off screen on Canaan (PHI) without giving him room to avoid the contact.
But the Knicks missed the subsequent shot anyway, and Melo committed a foul just after Philadelphia grabbed the rebound. So, the uncalled illegal screen was pretty inconsequential.
But the tide turned against the 76ers from there.
Arron Afflalo drew a shooting foul on Jerami Grant with 1:31 left in the first overtime – an error according to league:
Grant (PHI) maintains legal guarding position as he defends Afflalo’s (NYK) driving shot attempt. Any contact on the play is initiated by Afflalo.
Afflalo made both free throws.
Then, Carmelo should’ve been called for fouling Hollis Thompson on an inbound with 10.2 seconds left:
Anthony (NYK) holds Thompson (PHI) affecting his FOM during the inbounds play.
That would’ve given the 76ers a free throw by their choice of player on the court plus the ball.
The possession still turned out well for Philadelphia, as Robert Covington hit a game-tying 3-pointer to force a second overtime. With a correct foul preceding, that could’ve been a game-winner. Or maybe the possession would’ve unfolded completely differently. Butterfly effect and all.
Finally, in the second overtime, New York guard Langston Galloway made a layup with 3:05 left. But his teammate, Robin Lopez, freed him by committing an uncalled foul on Noel:
Lopez (NYK) grabs Noel’s (PHI) arm affecting his ability to defend
Galloway’s shot put the Knicks up for good.
NBA teams played six overtimes in 10 games yesterday. There were bound to be some missed calls. The 76ers can’t know they would’ve won with correct calls, but they can join the Jazz and Celtics as teams that feel a little mistreated.