The Jazz had a nearly perfect possession to end regulation against the Knicks on Wednesday. Down three, Gordon Hayward drew a Kristaps Porzingis foul on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to send the game to overtime.
How could it have gone any better?
If Utah were down just two when Hayward drew the foul and won in regulation – instead of going to overtime, where New York won.
The Jazz can make a case that should’ve happened. They can also claim they didn’t get a fair shake in overtime.
Anthony (NYK) grabs and holds Hayward (UTA) affecting his FOM during the inbounds play.
That would’ve given the Jazz a free throw and the ball.
It’s impossible to say the Hayward still would’ve drawn three free throws and made them all in that alternate universe – or even that Utah would’ve made the initial free throw. But any Jazz player on the court could’ve taken the first three throw. Rodney Hood, shooting 88% from the line, would’ve been a strong candidate to make the attempt. And we know Hayward, shooting 81% from the line, got and made three in reality.
In overtime, two more key calls went the Knicks’ way.
Anthony (NYK) grabs and holds Burke’s (UTA) arm as he sets the screen, affecting his ability to defend.
Later in overtime, Melo got away with a travel:
Anthony (NYK) moves his pivot foot while trying to pass out of the double team. The official is looking for any illegal contact and does not pick up the pivot foot.
Instead of turning the ball over, the Knicks got up a few shots – culminating in a Derrick Williams and-one putback. Melo was pumped.
The Two Minute Report featured one other incorrect call: an uncalled loose-ball foul on Rudy Gobert with 15.9 seconds left. But by then, the Knicks had put the game out of reach.