Gregg Popovich did that thing on Thursday night where he infuriates the NBA by resting his superstar players for a nationally televised game, but the San Antonio Spurs came away with a win over the Golden State Warriors anyway. However, the ending of the game has created some controversy.
San Antonio center Tiago Splitter tipped in the game-winning basket with 2.1 seconds remaining. Boras Diaw had attempted a reverse layup that begin falling off the front of the rim, and Splitter was able to tip it in with his left hand. Replay angles from above the basket showed that there was a possibility the ball was still within the cylinder when Splitter touched it.
As SI.com’s The Point Forward noted, goaltending and basket interference plays can be reviewed in the final two minutes of a game only if an official has whistled a violation. Since the officials did not call offensive goaltending, they could not have reviewed the play and reversed the call.
Most importantly, I think that rule needs to be changed. I don’t blame the officials for not calling offensive goaltending, as there’s really no way to tell for certain with a play that close. That’s where replay should come in, and a play like that should be reviewable regardless of what the call was (or wasn’t) on the floor.
Photo via @cjzero