NBA denies Nuggets’ protest of loss to Grizzlies

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Marc Gasol hit the game-winner for the Grizzlies against the Nuggets on Nov. 8.

One problem: Memphis shouldn’t have had the ball for that final possession. The NBA admitted on-court referees AND THE REPLAY CENTER ruled incorrectly on whom touched the ball last before it went out of bounds.

So, Denver protested the game.

NBA release:

The National Basketball Association announced today that it has denied the Denver Nuggets’ protest of their 108-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 8, 2016.

The basis for the Nuggets’ protest was that the Replay Center incorrectly awarded possession of the ball to Memphis with 0.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter after determining that the Nuggets’ Emmanuel Mudiay last touched the ball before it went out of bounds. 

The league found that the Replay Center official confirmed the call made by the on-court officials after reviewing two angles of the play that appeared to show Mudiay touching the ball.  In light of those angles, and in order not to further delay the game, the Replay Center official did not select additional angles of the play to review.  Following the game, one of those angles made clear that Mudiay did not in fact touch the ball and that possession should have been awarded to Denver.

The league determined that while the out-of-bounds call was incorrect, it was an error in judgment by the Replay Center official and not a misapplication of the playing rules – which is required under league rules to justify the extraordinary remedy of granting a game protest and overturning the game’s result.

The league will review this matter from an operational standpoint to consider further improvements to the review process in order to reduce the likelihood of a similar error going forward.

It’s so hard to win protests, because the league allows its officials to make errors. Only misapplying a rule can cause a successful appeal.

So, the Nuggets were right about the call – and it doesn’t mean a thing. I doubt they’ll take solace in that.

This doesn’t bode well for the Raptors in their protest.