As much as I loathe bench players and coaches crowding the court, Cavaliers backup Ed Davis found a way to be on the sympathetic end of getting called for interference from the sideline.
During a Hornets fourth-quarter possession last night, the ball went out of bounds. A whistle blew. A whistle blew again. Mason Plumlee passed to Terry Rozier. Rozier dribbled. Finally, Rozier missed a practice shot from beyond the arc.
But, from the bench area, Davis tapped Rozier during the release.
That cost Cleveland four points.
Officials credited Rozier with the 3-pointer (that rimmed out) and called a technical foul on Davis. Rozier made the technical free throw.
The NBA Case Book has actually covered this scenario: “Player A1 attempts a three-point field goal directly in front of Team B’s bench. A coach/player/trainer of Team B, who is seated on the bench, makes physical contact with Player A1. … an unsportsmanlike conduct technical foul shall be called. If the field goal attempt is unsuccessful, three points shall be awarded Player A1. Following the free throw attempt, the ball shall be awarded to Team B on the baseline.”
So, it would have been the right call.
If it weren’t clearly a dead ball long before Rozier shot.
After the game, crew chief Brian Forte acknowledged the error.
“It was miscommunication amongst the crew about the sequence of the play,” Forte told a pool reporter. “Upon review after the game, the out of bounds was called prior to the start of the field goal attempt and the shot should not have counted.”
That’s a pretty big miscommunication.
It could have been quite consequential. Down 10 when that sequence started, Charlotte led by one in the final seconds.
But the Cavs got the call in the end. Kevin Love drew a shooting foul on a putback attempt and hit the game-winning free throws: