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Damian Lillard and the Blazers got screwed. There is a simple solution so it won't happen again

By Curt Anderson
February 8, 2020 7:19 pm
Category: Sports
(5.0 from 1 vote)

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Officials admit to missing late goaltending call in Portland Trail Blazers' loss to Utah Jazz
(OregonLive) Down to just seven players, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Portland Trail Blazers had their backs to the wall Friday night against the Utah Jazz.

The Blazers took a lead early, fell behind late and rallied to tie the game in the final seconds before a missed goal tending call on the Jazz mucked up the ending of a highly-competitive affair between two division rivals.

With Portland trailing by two, Damian Lillard drove into the lane, absorbed contact and finished a finger-roll layup off the glass. But Utah center Rudy Gobert's goaltend after the ball bounced off the backboard was not called, the Jazz snagged the rebound and headed to the line with a two-point lead.

Again, no goaltend was called on the court. After the game, the officials conceded they missed the call:

"It was not reviewable since no goaltending call was made on the floor. Goaltending is only reviewable if we actually call it. The call needs to be made for a goaltending to be reviewable. We've since looked at it, via postgame video review, and unfortunately saw that we missed the play and a goaltending violation should've been called," referee Josh Tiven told pool reporter Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest.

Damian Lillard, Blazers livid after missed call in final seconds vs. Jazz
(ESPN) The missed call could not be reviewed during the game because no goaltending call was made on the floor.

"Three referees out there, and they don't call that," Lillard said. "I don't wanna see no report about, 'Oh, we should've called it' or none of that. They cost us the game. We in a playoff race, and they cost us the game on an easy call."

Blazers coach Terry Stotts and guard CJ McCollum echoed Lillard's outrage.

Injury added to insult
To make matters worse, the goaltending call wasn't the only call the officiating crew missed. At the end of the first quarter Anfernee Simons was assaulted with a leg whip while attempting a two-point shot from the free-throw line. With an unnatural movement, a Utah Jazz player undercut Simons while he was elevated taking a shot.

Feeling ejected.
In the second quarter the refs appeared to miss a shooting foul. The Blazers' Trevor Ariza vehemently complained the non-call resulting his ejection.

Anfernee Simons suffers concussion after hitting head on court
(Yahoo Sports) The Blazers were forced to a call a timeout with 20.7 seconds remaining in the first quarter after Simons went up for a jumper from the free throw line, but then ultimately fell hard on his back, with his head whipping back and connecting with the court. It looked as though Simons was thrown off-balance after connecting with Royce O'Neale's leg.

Coach's Challenge
The Coach's Challenge will allow a head coach to trigger one instant replay review per game of a called foul, called out-of-bounds violation, or called goaltending or basket interference violation.
A team can use its challenge for:
  • Personal foul calls on its own team at any time in the game; and
  • Out-of-bounds and goaltending/basket interference calls during the first 46 minutes of the game and the first three minutes of OT.
  • In the last two minutes of the fourth period and OT, out-of-bounds and goaltending/basket interference call reviews will be exclusively triggered by on-court referees.
  • Teams cannot challenge non-calls or other types of calls not listed.

  • The solution to missed calls
    NBA officials impact a game when they call fouls and make other calls. They also impact a game with their non-calls. Considering the speed of NBA play the officials do a good job. In reviews of the officiating crews' work, the NBA claims that the refs make the right call about 80% of time. Good but not perfect.

    To avoid problems like last night's game in Salt Lake City, the NBA should allow coaches to challenge non-calls just as they challenge calls. The risk to a coach for making a challenge should be same for challenging a call or non-call.

    It's an easy and fair solution. Isn't the integrity of the game is worth it?

    Cited and related links:


    The views and claims expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of Not every statement made here can be assumed to be a fact.

    1. by Curt Anderson on February 9, 2020 8:47 pm
      POST SCRIPT: NBA Admits Defeat and Won't Fine Damian Lillard for Calling Out Officials for Terrible Non-Call

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