Like many other NBA fans, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard was watching the exciting conclusion to Monday night’s competition between the Knicks and Nets. And, like many other NBA fans, Lillard was left wondering what exactly happened on New York’s last offensive possession of the game.
Ky blocked Julius Randle’s attempt. Why did Scott Foster blow his whistle and hit the net?
– Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) March 16, 2021
Okay, let’s analyze this. Our investigation begins with the work itself …
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The Knicks faced a three-point deficit with just 5.7 seconds left on the clock. Knowing New York needed a 3-pointer to tie the game, All-Star forward Julius Randle caught an incoming pass, dribbled hard and stopped near the Barclays Center logo on the right wing.
Randle appeared to go up and down without releasing the ball, resulting in an obvious traveling violation. However, replays showed Nets guard Kyrie Irving hitting the ball cleanly, disrupting Randle’s shooting motion.
Brooklyn regained possession, New York fouled to stop the clock and James Harden drained two free throws to secure a 117-112 victory. Randle appeared to get closer to umpire crew chief Scott Foster after the final buzzer, but his Knicks teammates stopped him before the situation got any worse. Randle was clearly furious, knocking over a chair on his way to the locker room.
When asked about the walking call during his post-game media availability, Randle declined to go into detail, saying it is “The best thing is that he does not comment on the situation.”
“He was frustrated, obviously,” Randle said. “We fought a lot to come back and try to win the game. I was frustrated. That was it. But we have another chance to do it tomorrow.” [against the 76ers]. So just focus on tomorrow. “
Julius Randle leaving the court in frustration after Monday’s game ended:
“We fought a lot to come back and try to win the game” pic.twitter.com/HS93wHQ82q
– Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) March 16, 2021
Irving, who scored 34 points in the game-high Nets win, thought Randle made a smart adjustment after touching the ball.
“Or I was going to foul early [or defend straight up]but I saw him lining up for a jump shot. I felt like I could give him a good hand, “Irving said.” Scott called for travel. I thought Julius made a good move after putting [the ball] down. He was going to foul after that just to get him to the free throw line. But yeah, that’s what it looked like. That’s how it went “.
Kyrie Irving describes what happened on the last play of Monday’s game defending Julius Randle:
“I thought Julius made a good move after putting [the ball] down” pic.twitter.com/pfmjPXiPI7
– Network Videos (@SNYNets) March 16, 2021
Here is the relevant section of the NBA regulations Regarding dribbling offenses:
A player may dribble a second time if he lost control of the ball due to:
1. An attempted field goal in his basket, provided that the ball touches the backboard or the basket ring.
2. An opponent who touches the ball.
3. A pass or fumble that touches his backboard, basket ring or is touched by another player.
PENALTY: Turnover. The ball is awarded to the opposing team on the side line closest to the place of infringement, but no closer to the end line than the extended foul line.
Foster provided clarification on the walking call as part of a postgame interview with Bryan Mahoney of The Associated Press.
“The defender was considered to have touched the ball, but it did not make it go off or let go,” Foster said. “After that, when the player lands, he cannot purposely drop the ball or dribble the ball or be the first to touch after dropping the ball.”
Essentially, the umpires determined that Irving touched the ball when Randle got up to shoot, but it did not actually cause him to lose control of the ball. In that case, the rule allowing Randle to dribble again would not apply.
We’ll have to wait and see if the NBA Final Two Minutes Report confirms that interpretation.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.