Storyline: L2M Report

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According to the NBA’s Two-Minute Report, Buddy Hield’s game-winning 3-pointer against the Detroit Pistons on the Kings’ final possession Saturday night was legal. “Hield (Sac) fumbles the inbound pass and subsequently bats the ball to the floor as he attempts to gain control,” the report said. “He picks up the ball with both hands thereafter, establishing full control, and legally takes one dribble prior to the start of his upward shooting motion.”

The NBA admitting an obvious travel by 76ers center Joel Embiid was not called only added to Borrego’s frustration in comments before Sunday’s road game against the Detroit Pistons. “It’s tough. I had to read that thing last night, and it was like I had to live it all over again,” Borrego said of the NBA’s report, which acknowledged Embiid traveled with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter before making a 3-pointer that tied the game. The 76ers went on to win in overtime 133-132. “It does nothing” making peace with the error, Borrego said of the NBA’s policy of publicly acknowledging late-game mistakes in close games.



As McCollum dribbled near the free throw line, Giannis did put his hand on the hip of the Blazers guard, which many people saw as a foul. McCollum himself didn’t make any official statement about the play, saying after the game that he didn’t want to lose any money by getting fined. He did, however, post a screen shot of Giannis’ hand on his hip to his Instagram live story. Though he didn’t put any caption, it’s pretty clear what he’s trying to say. Not that it would have mattered, as the Blazers already lost, but there was no vindication for McCollum in the NBA’s two-minute report on Sunday. The league announced that the refs were correct in not calling a foul on the play, saying, “Antetokounmpo (MIL) deflects the ball away from McCollum (POR). The contact to McCollum’s body with his other hand does not affect his SQBR and is considered incidental.”
2 years ago via ESPN

It’s hard to prove, but most coaches and front-office executives agree defenses get away with a little more bump-and-grind than in the mid-2000s — when the NBA was obsessed with creating a more viewer-friendly game. The league has heard the concerns, and is monitoring the hand-check stuff. “That area is tough — the freedom of movement, especially away from the ball,” Vandeweghe said. “It’s tough for referees to watch everything. But I think we’ve found a good balance.” (As an aside, Vandeweghe confirmed the controversial last-two-minute reports aren’t going anywhere. In fact, he said the NBA would “probably” start releasing full game reports at some point.)

Add Steve Kerr to the growing list of prominent NBA people who don’t like the league’s Last Two Minute officiating reports. Four days after Kerr’s Golden State Warriors were on the wrong end of two late calls in a Christmas Day loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and in the wake of LeBron James and Kevin Durant both expressing their disapproval of the practice, the third-year coach explained why he sees the NBA’s approach as, well, the incorrect call. “I’m not a huge fan of the two-minute report myself,” Kerr began. “It does put the refs in a tough spot. I don’t know what it accomplishes, but I do appreciate that the league is trying to be transparent about what they’re looking at, and how the refs are judged and all that. But I’m not sure to what extent it really helps anybody.”

“In my mind, I think the league is trying so hard to be perfect with the officials, where every call is being judged,” Kerr said. “From what I gather, every official is graded on every call. There’s too much gray area in basketball. I don’t believe that you can just say that every call is right or wrong. I think there’s a feel element that’s lacking right now. I could give you a lot of examples, but I just think that there should be more feel involved.

The NBA’s “Last Two Minute Report” (L2M) is intended to help players and coaches better understand officiating and the rules. But it seems to be having an opposite effect on some. “I think all of us are a little bit confused with what our end goal is with it, and whether that is making coherent corrections so that future games are better officiated,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of L2Ms after Thursday’s shootaround session. “I don’t know if any of us have that answer or conclusion right now. So, officials have a tough job to do. We study the rules and the angles like every other staff does. And I still have no idea who is responsible for three seconds, who is responsible for charges, who is responsible for hand checks. It changes based on different regions of the court. “There’s a lot of gray area right now, very confusing and it’s difficult for the officials to really be consistent.”
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March 22, 2019 | 4:37 am EDT Update
Now that Russell is getting some good pub — the narratives flipping from lottery bust to Magic Johnson gave up on him too quickly — he won’t let it distract him. “I’ve been on the worst side of the tilt,” Russell said after Thursday’s practice at Santa Monica High School. “So to now to be on this side where we’re having a little success, I’ve seen both narratives. I’ve seen every narrative you could throw. When it comes to preparing myself for them, I’ve looked in the mirror and I’ve put myself in the situation before [the media] could.”